Israel’s war cabinet has approved sending negotiators to Qatar to continue talks aimed at securing a ceasefire in the conflict and the return of hostages being held in Gaza, officials and local media said.

The talks began in Paris, where the head of Israel’s overseas intelligence service Mossad and his counterpart at the domestic Shin Bet security service met with mediators from the United States, Egypt and Qatar, AFP reports.

National security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said in a televised interview yesterday evening that the “delegation has returned from Paris — there is probably room to move towards an agreement”.

The negotiators had asked to speak to the cabinet “to bring us up to speed on the results of the Paris summit”, he added shortly before the meeting.

Israeli media later reported that the meeting had concluded, with the cabinet agreeing to send a delegation to Qatar in the coming days to continue negotiations on a weeks-long truce involving the release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

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