Qatar-Brokered deal: Medicine to reach Israeli hostages in Gaza

A Qatar-mediated accord paves the way for medical aid to reach hostages in Gaza, but without a ceasefire on sight.

Photo of Israeli hostages exposed during a campaign.
Photo courtesy: Elvert Barnes / Flickr

Israel has announced that hostages in the Gaza Strip, held by Hamas, will receive medicine in the coming days. Through mediation by Qatar, the Israeli government and Hamas reached an agreement allowing the entry of medicines into the Palestinian enclave.

This humanitarian effort, negotiated by Mossad chief David Barnea in Qatar, aims to provide medical aid to the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. Of the 250 individuals kidnapped in southern Israel on October 7, 132 remain captive in Gaza, with 25 considered dead. The families of the hostages have advocated for intensified government efforts to secure their release.

Responding to reports by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum about the captives’ deteriorating health, government spokesman Eylon Levy acknowledged the urgency of the situation, stating that “time is running out” for the captives.

The October 7 attack by Hamas resulted in approximately 1,140 casualties, predominantly civilians, according to official Israeli figures. Subsequently, Israel launched extensive military actions against Gaza with the goal of neutralizing the group, displacing the majority of the population of Gaza.

Despite a Qatari proposal for a truce deal, both Israel and Hamas declined, dampening hopes for a release of all captives in exchange for a permanent ceasefire. Israel has persistently urged the Red Cross to access the enclave, facilitating medical care for the remaining hostages within Gaza.

In tandem with Israel’s initiative, the Palestinian National Authority’s Ministry of Health in Ramallah announced the shipment of medicines and medical supplies to Gaza, funded by the World Bank and distributed by UNICEF.

The shipment, valued at two million dollars, aims to bolster healthcare in the region. Additionally, a new batch of polio vaccines is expected to enter Gaza with financing from Egypt.

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