Qatar reportedly asks US to intervene in talks to return Israelis held by Hamas

Qatar is reportedly appealing to US administration officials to intervene in attempts to advance talks to return the bodies of Israeli soldiers and two living Israelis currently being held by Hamas.

Kan news reports that the US has not yet responded to the request. The outlet says it it not known whether the proposal was made at Hamas’s request or with its knowledge, or whether it was Qatar’s independent initiative.

Hamas is currently holding the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, both killed in the 2014 war, as well as civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, two Israelis who entered Gaza of their own accord.

According to Kan, Palestinian sources say Qatar is interested in making progress in the stalled negotiations at the expense of Egypt, which has so far led the issue without reaching a breakthrough.

Despite the Qatari offer, Hamas is reportedly still demanding that Israel release hundreds of security prisoners as part of a comprehensive deal, including prisoners sentenced to life in prison.

A Hamas source is quoted by Kan as saying that the terrorist group has “proposed that Israel first release patients, minors and women prisoners in return for Hamas providing information to Israel on whether its captives and missing persons were alive or dead.”