CIA Chief to Discuss Hostage Deal with Qatari, Egyptian, and Israeli Officials

    CIA Chief to Discuss Hostage Deal with Qatari, Egyptian, and Israeli Officials
    Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Israeli and American officials said on Thursday that CIA Director Bill Burns will travel to Europe in the coming days to discuss another hostage exchange deal with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel, and senior Israeli intelligence officials, such as Mossad director David Barnea.

    • As Israeli forces pushed deeper into Khan Younis in southern Gaza, Qatar and Egypt have played a crucial role in negotiations. An Israeli proposal from earlier this week reportedly included a two-month ceasefire and a guarantee to allow senior Hamas leaders inside Gaza to leave the strip in exchange for the hostages, though it did not address ending the war completely — something Hamas has indicated is necessary for any agreement.

    The Spin

    Pro-Palestine narrative

    Israel is losing its war in Gaza. After over three months and 25K dead Palestinians, Israel has failed to release hostages via military operations, to kill Hamas's top leaders, or to create conditions advantageous to ending this long drawn-out conflict. Even then, if Israel did manage to achieve the majority of its war goals, it still would be left without a clear plan of action for the day after the war. Destroying a group like Hamas is unfeasible, and Netanyahu has dug Israel into a hole that it will have a tough time climbing out of. Israel should accept a comprehensive ceasefire.

    Pro-Israel narrative

    Though this war has not been easy, Israel has made steady progress in Gaza, first neutralizing Gaza City before moving on to other population centers like Khan Younis. Israel has substantially degraded Hamas's military capabilities and leadership and even partially degraded elite Hezbollah units stationed along Israel's northern border, greatly increasing its leverage in negotiations. Indeed, as Israel's enemies should recognize, Israel's raw military power should not even be up for debate, and the country will fight and negotiate as it sees fit to achieve its goals.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 4% chance that a shared power arrangement will have de facto power in the Gaza Strip on Jan. 1, 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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