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Diplomatic efforts for Israel-Hamas hostage talks expected to resume next week, sources say

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U.S. diplomatic efforts to broker a deal to release hostages held in Gaza by Hamas and other allied groups are expected to continue in the coming week, four sources with knowledge told CBS News on Saturday. Negotiators from Qatar, Egypt and the United States will be part of the talks.

"There is progress," a senior Biden administration official told CBS News. "Contacts are ongoing and we are working closely with Egyptian and Qatari mediators. These contacts will continue through the coming week as we seek to move the negotiating process forward."

CIA Director William Burns traveled to Paris last week as part of a high-level effort to revive the hostage talks, which had floundered in recent weeks.

Within Israel, the families of hostages continue to pressure the politically embattled Netanyahu government to come to a diplomatic agreement with Hamas to bring their loved ones home after nearly eight months of captivity. Roughly 120 hostages are believed to still be held, including five U.S. citizens.

Hamas has pressed Israel for a lasting cease-fire in Gaza.

A prior round of negotiations in Cairo ended in early May without meaningful progress, though U.S. officials expressed optimism that differences between Israel and Hamas could be overcome. Burns led the U.S. delegation in Egypt, and remains in contact with David Barnea, chief of Mossad, Israel's national intelligence agency.

A source in the region indicated that progress was made in the Paris meeting on Friday with Burns, Barnea and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. Two U.S. officials indicated their work in Paris will help move all parties closer to resuming hostage negotiations.

During a commencement address at West Point on Saturday, President Joe Biden said the U.S. is engaged in "urgent diplomacy to secure [an] immediate cease-fire that brings hostages home."

On Friday, the White House announced that Biden discussed with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi "new initiatives" to secure the release of hostages together with an "immediate and sustained cease-fire" in Gaza.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Israeli war cabinet Minister Benny Gantz on Friday. The State Department spokesman said it included a discussion of the "latest efforts to achieve a cease-fire as part of a deal to release hostages and to prevent the conflict from expanding across the region."

The war in Gaza followed an Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel that killed roughly 1,200 people, about a quarter of them soldiers, with another 250 taken captive. At least 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry, which doesn't distinguish between combatants and civilians.

Michal Ben-Gal, Kristin Brown and Arden Farhi contributed reporting.

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