Deal reached for Gaza hostages to receive medicines

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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”.

Israel 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 militant 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.

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 Oct. 7, according to the territory’s health ministry.

 

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