An Egyptian spy single-handedly ruined the Israel-Hamas cease-fire: CNN

  • An Egyptian spy ruined a potential cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas.

  • The intelligence official added more of Hamas' demands after Israel had already agreed to the deal, CNN reports.

  • Israel, the US, and Qatar were reportedly blindsided by the secret changes.

An Egyptian spy torpedoed a potential cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas earlier this month by secretly changing its terms before handing it between the warring sides, CNN reports.

The intelligence official, Ahmed Abdel Khalek, changed the deal after Israel had already agreed to it by adding in more of Hamas' demands to the framework to clinch their approval, according to the report.

Abdel Khalek works for Abbas Kamel, according to CNN, who is the head of Egypt's general intelligence service.

One of the biggest points of contention in the deal was a call for "sustainable calm" to be reached in its second phase, according to CNN. Israel is opposed to discussing an end to the war until Hamas is defeated and all of its hostages are freed, the outlet reports.

If it had been passed, the deal could have seen the release of some Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners and temporarily paused combat. US officials have pushed for a temporary cease-fire in the hopes that a stop to the fighting could open the possibility to a more lasting peace.

Officials involved in the talks from Qatar, the US, and Israel were blindsided and angered by the spy's secret changes, according to CNN.

The State Department declined to comment. The CIA did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Hamas announced it had agreed to the deal on May 6, which Qatar and Egypt helped negotiate. At the time, an anonymous Israeli official told Reuters the announcement was a "ruse intended to make Israel look like the side refusing a deal."

Mediators had hoped the deal would stave off Israel's incursion into Rafah, which is now expanding.

The scuttled cease-fire also dashes a priority for US President Joe Biden. Biden is locked in a tight race with rival Donald Trump, but the Democrat is facing a revolt from left-wing voters who accuse him of supporting the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza by sending Israel weaponry.

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