Washington Resorts to Doha as ‘Rescue Mission’ Looks ‘Impossible’: NYT

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (L) and US President Joe Biden. (Image: PC)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

After realizing that a rescue mission to release captured Israelis and others in Gaza is simply ‘impossible’, the US is turning to its close ally in the Middle East: Qatar, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. 

“The chaotic environment of Gaza, which is descending into a humanitarian crisis (..) has made such a mission unlikely because of the dangers to hostages and soldiers alike,” NYT reported. 

The “best option” for the US government is to seek help from Qatar, the report said. “In the talks so far, Qatar is acting as a mediator between Hamas and officials from the United States.”

“Adding even more complexity to the talks, people from more than 40 countries are among the hostages,” it added. 

The spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Obeida, had said two days ago in a recorded speech that the Resistance is holding anywhere between 200 to 250 people, made mostly of Israeli soldiers and settlers. 

However, he also said that a number of internationals have been taken as well by the Resistance in the rush of the fighting, and they are ‘guests’, who will be freed as soon as it is safe for them to do so. 

But Israel might not be in the mood for negotiations, according to Israeli experts, who spoke to the American newspaper. 

“To sacrifice hostages and soldiers seems to be the psychology today,” Gershon Baskin, who negotiated the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit in 2011, told NYT. 

“Several former U.S. officials and analysts said that while that mission was extremely dangerous, it would not compare to the perils of a military rescue operation in Gaza, a densely populated, urban area brimming with weapons, fighters and miles of underground tunnels.

“Given those hazards – and that Gaza is increasingly dangerous for everyone, with dwindling clean water, medicine and fuel – U.S. officials believe a military rescue is all but impossible. That means diplomacy remains the central effort.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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