Israel, Hamas Reach 3-Month Deal To Get Medicine To Gazans, Hostages

Israel, Hamas Reach 3-Month Deal To Get Medicine To Gazans, Hostages

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office confirmed the deal.

Doha, Qatar:

A deal to allow the delivery of medicines to hostages in Gaza and aid into the territory has been agreed following mediation by Doha and Paris, Qatar and Israel announced on Tuesday.

In a statement to the official Qatar News Agency (QNA), Doha announced the deal “between Israel and (Hamas), where medicine along with other humanitarian aid is to be delivered to civilians in Gaza… in exchange for delivering medication needed for Israeli captives in Gaza”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office confirmed the deal and said: “The medicines will be forwarded by Qatari representatives in the Gaza Strip to their final destination.”

The drugs are intended for 45 hostages, according to the French presidency, which said 83 were initially identified as needing medication in November, but 38 have since been released or killed.

After the medicines arrive at a hospital in the southern Gaza border town of Rafah on Wednesday, they will be received by the International Committee of the Red Cross, divided into batches and immediately transferred to the hostages.

The deliveries will go on for three months, and were coordinated by the French foreign ministry’s crisis centre, which purchased the drugs and sent them to Doha on Saturday by diplomatic pouch, said the centre’s director, Philippe Lalliot.

Qatar, which hosts Hamas’s political office, has led negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian group, having mediated a week-long break in the war in Gaza in November that included the release of scores of Israeli and foreign hostages.

The conflict followed an unprecedented Hamas attack on October 7 that resulted in the death of around 1,140 people in Israel, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Operatives also dragged about 250 hostages back to Gaza, 132 of whom Israel says remain there, including at least 27 believed to have been killed.

At least 24,285 Palestinians, more than 70 percent of them women and children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip in Israeli bombardments and a ground offensive since October 7, according to the territory’s health ministry.

Qatari foreign ministry spokesman Majid Al-Ansari told QNA “the medications and aid will leave Doha tomorrow to the city of Al-Arish in the sisterly Arab Republic of Egypt, on board two Qatari Armed Forces aircrafts, in preparation for their transport into the Gaza Strip”.

A diplomat briefed on the talks told AFP the deal followed a visit by the families of hostages to Qatar and a meeting with the Gulf nation’s prime minister.

“Qatar has fast tracked engagement with Hamas and Israel on the need to get medicine in to the hostages and to civilian Palestinians in Gaza. Both have shown willingness,” the diplomat said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of talks.

The diplomat said mediators were working to finalise details and discussing with international organisations logistics for delivery, while stressing that the talks are separate from wider efforts towards a ceasefire.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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