Israel and Hamas secure an agreement regarding humanitarian aid

A deal between Israel and Hamas, mediated by Qatar and France, will allow more humanitarian aid to reach Gaza.

According to Qatari mediators, Israel and Hamas have agreed to let more humanitarian aid enter Gaza, which has been devastated by more than three months of Israeli attacks.

The mediators say that Qatar and France facilitated the deal, which involves delivering medicines to the hostages in Hamas’ custody. As part of the deal, Israel will also permit more essential goods to enter Gaza.

The situation in the enclave is desperate due to the Israeli bombardment. The US expresses its optimism that further negotiations could result in the release of more hostages.

John Kirby, the White House national security spokesperson, said on Tuesday that the US Middle East envoy was in Qatar to explore the possibility of such a deal. He said the talks were “very serious and intensive”. He added: “We are hopeful it will bear fruit and bear fruit soon.”

Majed Al Ansari, the spokesman of Qatar’s foreign ministry, confirmed the aid agreement earlier. The deal stipulates that the humanitarian supplies will depart from Doha, the Qatari capital, to Egypt on Wednesday. From there, the aid will be transported to Gaza, where it will be distributed to the civilians, while the medicines will be given to the Israeli captives.

It is believed that more than 132 hostages are still in Gaza. Hamas captured about 240 people in a series of raids in southern Israel on October 7.

The raids killed some 1,300 people, mostly civilians. The Hostages Families HQ group, which sent a letter to Israel’s war cabinet after a ceasefire was reached last year, said that many of the captives required regular medical care and some were in critical condition.

Last week, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that Mossad chief David Barnea had contacted Qatar to arrange a deal for providing the necessary medicines. On Tuesday, Netanyahu issued a statement thanking “all those who have assisted in the endeavour”.

Israel is facing growing international pressure to agree to a ceasefire or a pause in Gaza, due to the magnitude of the civilian suffering. The US, which always supports Israel’s right to self defence, has also repeatedly urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reduce the civilian casualties.

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