Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
Mossad chief David Barnea

Israel agreed to the current 6-week ceasefire and hostage release deal, but Hamas refused anything short of a permanent cessation in the IDF’s military operations.

By Shula Rosen

Hamas is refusing to cooperate with a hostage deal because it intends to “ignite the region” during Ramadan, according to head of the Mossad, David Barnea.

A statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recounts a meeting between Barnea and CIA Director William Burns during which the two discussed strategies to recover the remaining Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

After Hamas refused to agree to recent hostage release proposals and has doubled down on a demand for a permanent ceasefire and withdrawal of troops from Gaza, the head of the Mossad revealed to the CIA director that Hamas doesn’t want any deal with Israel.

“At this stage, Hamas is redoubling its position and is not agreeing to a deal because its goal is to ignite the region during Ramadan at the expense of the Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip,” Barnea said, according to the statement.

The Biden Administration was pushing to implement a 6-week ceasefire during which Israeli hostages would be released before Ramadan, a deal Israel agreed to before Hamas refused anything short of a permanent cessation in the IDF’s military operations.

Despite the impasse Hamas seems eager to create, Barnea stressed that he and Burns will continue meeting with negotiators.

“It should be emphasized that at all times, the negotiations and cooperation with the brokers are ongoing, in an attempt to reduce the gaps and advance agreements,” he said.

According to Maariv, Qatari officials are threatening to expel Hamas delegates from Doha if they refuse to agree to a hostage release proposal.

Egyptian officials reported that October 7th mastermind Yahya Sinwar has the upper hand in negotiations and has vetoed any agreement unlike Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas’s political wing, who seemed ready to agree to the 6-week truce.

Israel held back its delegation from Cairo last week after Hamas refused to release a list of surviving hostages and their conditions.