June 16, 2024

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Qatar says that Israel and Hamas have agreed to an agreement on providing medicines to hostages and providing aid to Gaza

Qatar says that Israel and Hamas have agreed to an agreement on providing medicines to hostages and providing aid to Gaza

Mustafa Al-Kharouf/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Protesters in Tel Aviv on January 6 demanded that the Israeli government make more efforts to return the remaining hostages from Gaza.


Qatar says it brokered an agreement between Israel and Hamas to deliver medicines to it Israeli hostages in Gaza In exchange for delivering medicines and humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.

On Tuesday, the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement: “Medicines will be delivered, along with other humanitarian aid, to civilians in the Gaza Strip, in the most affected and vulnerable areas, in exchange for delivering the necessary medicines to Israeli prisoners in Gaza.” Published on X.

The ministry added that the medicines and aid will leave Doha on Wednesday and head to Egypt before being transported to Gaza. It is unclear when the medicines are expected to arrive in Gaza.

Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official based in Lebanon, said the agreement depends on providing enough medicine for the Palestinians in Gaza in addition to the Israeli hostages.

Hamdan said during a press conference in Beirut, on Wednesday, that “any initiative to allow the delivery of medicines to detainees (in Gaza) must include the delivery of medicines to the Palestinians in Gaza.”

Hamas stipulated that for every box of medicine provided to the hostages, 1,000 boxes of medicine would be provided to Palestinian civilians in the Strip.

“For every box of medicine, a thousand for our people. We are the ones who asked our brothers in Qatar to provide medicine because of our trust in them, and they agreed with gratitude,” Dr. Musa Abu Marzouk, a prominent leader in the Hamas movement. , he wrote on Wednesday on X.

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The development comes after calls from relatives More than 100 hostages remain They are believed to be alive in Gaza until the medicines can be transferred to their loved ones.

It has been more than three months since Hamas fighters attacked Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking more than 240 hostage. The Forum for Hostages and Missing Families, an advocacy group for victims' families, says every new day in captivity puts their lives and health at risk.

Menachem Kahane/AFP/Getty Images

An Israeli tank is positioned near the border with Gaza on January 16.

The forum said in a report issued last week that at least a third of the hostages suffer from chronic diseases and need medication, adding that “others suffer from diseases related to harsh captivity conditions, which include psychological and physical torture.”

Asked whether the drug deal could lead to a broader package of support for hostages, David Harden, former director of the US Agency for International Development mission in the West Bank and Gaza, was not optimistic.

“Look where we are now. More than 100 days later, we're just delivering medicine to hostages and medicine to hospitals. It's a really deep hole that we're trying to get out of,” Harden told CNN. “Yes, it's good to have medicine for innocent people. It is very difficult to know whether or not this will lead to anything further.

Since the end of the week-long truce in November, Israel has intensified its military operations in the besieged Strip. The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said on Tuesday that since the war began, 24,285 Palestinians were killed. She added that among the dead were 10,600 children.

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A severe shortage of medicines and medical supplies in Gaza has led to children being operated on without anesthesia, according to UNICEF and a British surgeon who led an emergency medical team at Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza.

The Qatari announcement comes days after the Israeli Prime Minister's Office announced that the director of the Israeli Mossad, David Barnea, had reached an agreement with Qatar regarding the delivery of medicines to hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

Qatar played a key role in brokering an agreement between Hamas and Israel that led to a short truce in November and the release of more than 100 hostages, as well as hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which helped facilitate the hostage release in November, has been unable to visit the remaining captives in Gaza and does not know their whereabouts, she told CNN.

It is unclear whether the Red Cross will help deliver medicine to the hostages. Over the weekend, an official familiar with the discussions told CNN that the Red Cross would not have a role in the deliveries.

The medicine is intended for more than 40 hostages that Israel believes need it, according to the official.

Throughout the war, Israel has allowed a limited amount of aid and medicine into Gaza, but more is needed. Humanitarian groups He says. United nations He complained Israel refuses to send missions to deliver supplies to northern Gaza.

It is estimated that 1.9 million people, or 85% of Gaza's population, are now internally displaced, The United Nations saysWhile only 15 hospitals in the sector are still operating.

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