Israeli media: Israel-Hamas talks resume

Multiple Israeli media outlets say talks have resumed between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic group Hamas.

The media reported on Monday that an Israeli delegation arrived in Doha, Qatar, to negotiate a hostages-for-ceasefire deal. Qatar is serving as a go-between.

The reports say the negotiations have resumed, with participation by Hamas negotiators.

The talks are reportedly aimed at securing a six-week truce in the Gaza Strip in exchange for the release of women, elderly people and some other hostages held by Hamas.

Media outlets such as the US news website Axios say Hamas is calling for an agreement that includes a ceasefire on the condition of the release of more hostages.

It remains to be seen whether progress will be made in the negotiations as there is a wide gap between Hamas and Israel, which rejects a ceasefire.

Israel still vows to carry out a ground operation in Rafah in southern Gaza, where nearly 1.5 million people live, including evacuees from other parts of the enclave.

The international community is increasingly concerned that casualties among the residents will rise further.

US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talked by phone on Monday.

After the call, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Biden expressed his deep concerns about the prospect of Israel conducting major military operations in Rafah. Biden has reportedly been worried that Israel has not presented a plan for how or where civilians would safely move from Rafah.

Sullivan also said Biden asked Netanyahu to send in the coming days an Israeli team of senior officials to Washington to discuss an alternative approach without a major ground invasion. Netanyahu reportedly agreed to send a team.