Qatar: Israeli actions in Rafah derailed talks with Hamas - details

Israel's military operation in Rafah has "set us back" in negotiations with Hamas, said mediator Qatar, AFP reported.

Negotiations are at "almost a stalemate," he added.

"Unfortunately, things did not go in the right direction and we are currently in a state of near stalemate. Of course, what happened to Rafah has set us back," Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told the Qatar Economic Forum .

"Especially in the last few weeks we have seen some progress being made, but unfortunately things have not gone in the right direction and we are currently in a state of near stalemate," he added.

Qatar, which has hosted Hamas' political bureau in Doha since 2012, has been involved - along with Egypt and the US - in months of behind-the-scenes mediation between Israel and the Palestinian militant group.

Israel continued to battle Hamas in Rafah despite US warnings against a full-scale assault on the southern Gaza city, which is teeming with displaced Palestinians.

"There is no clarity on how to stop the war on the Israeli side. I don't think they see that as an option, even when we are talking about a deal and leading to a potential ceasefire," Sheikh Mohammed said.

Israeli politicians have shown "with their statements that they will stay there, that they will continue the war. And it is not clear what Gaza will look like after that," he added. /BGNES