There was no immediate response from Israeli authorities, who had previously declined to provide detailed comment on the hostage negotiations, citing a reluctance to undermine diplomacy or fuel reports of what they saw as “psychological warfare” by Palestinian militants.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry and Hamas’ political office in Doha declined to comment.
Qatar, where Hamas maintains a political office, has led mediation between the militant group and Israeli authorities for the release of more than 240 hostages. They were taken by Hamas militants when they invaded Israel on October 7. According to Israel, 1,200 people were killed during the riot.
Israel then launched a relentless bombardment of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and, late last month, began an armored invasion of the enclave, where more than 11,000 people were killed, around 40% of them children, and more people were buried under the rubble, according to Palestinian officials.
Israeli Minister Benny Gantz, who is part of the war cabinet, said at a press conference on Wednesday: “Even if we are forced to stop the fighting to return our hostages, there will be no stop to the fighting and the war until we achieve our goals”.
Asked to explain what is holding up the hostage deal, Gantz declined to elaborate.