Middle East, Hamas accepts hostage negotiations even without permanent truce


By John

Hamas agrees to negotiate on hostages even in the absence of a permanent ceasefire. A senior official from the Palestinian faction that governs Gaza said. Hamas had demanded that Israel “agree to a full and permanent ceasefire” to begin hostage-exchange talks and end the nine-month-old war, the official said, adding that “this step was bypassed, as the (Qatari) mediators promised that as long as the prisoner negotiations continued, the ceasefire would continue.”