Israel’s Mossad has accused Hamas of toughening its stance on a potential hostage agreement, instead seeking to ‘ignite the region’ during Ramadan.

In a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday, Mossad Director David Barnea met with CIA chief Bill Burns as part of ongoing efforts to secure another deal for the return of hostages.

“At this stage, Hamas is redoubling its position as one who is not interested in a deal and is aiming to ignite the region during Ramadan, at the expense of the Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip,” the statement reads.

“It should be emphasized that at all times, the negotiations and cooperation with the brokers are ongoing, in an attempt to reduce the gaps and advance agreements.”

Jordanian news outlet Al Ra’i al-Youm reports that Hamas has issued several demands for a ceasefire and the phased release of hostages. These included a one-week halt in fighting, a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza with international guarantees against re-entry, unrestricted movement within the enclave, and the return of evacuees to northern Gaza. Details on the hostages to be released and their conditions would not be provided by Hamas upfront.

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