Qatar says truce talks between Israel and Hamas "stalled"

Qatar, the United States and Egypt have been mediating for weeks for a new truce in the Gaza war 
Explosión en un edificio residencial en la ciudad de Gaza, por un ataque israelí - AFP/MAHMUD HAMS
Explosion at a residential building in Gaza City, following an Israeli attack - AFP/MAHMUD HAMS

Negotiations between Israel and Hamas to reach a truce in Gaza and a swap of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners have stalled, the prime minister of Qatar, a mediating country, said Wednesday. 

"We are at a delicate stage, with a certain stalemate, and we are doing our best to address this stalemate," Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, accompanied by his Romanian counterpart Marcel Ciolacu, told a news conference. 

Qatar, the United States and Egypt have been mediating for weeks to broker a new truce in the six-month-old Gaza war and broker the release of Israeli hostages in exchange for prisoners held in Israel. 

Negotiators, the Qatari leader said, are trying to "make progress to end the suffering of the people in Gaza, and to bring about the return of the hostages". 

Mediators had hoped to reach a truce agreement before Ramadan in early March, but the goal has been slipping away and hostilities continued throughout the Muslim fasting month, which ended last week. 

Instead, tension has grown in the region with Iran's first direct attack on Israeli territory this past weekend.