Medicines for hostages, aid arrives in Gaza: Qatar

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Medicines for hostages in Gaza and humanitarian aid for civilians entered the war-torn Palestinian territory on Wednesday under a deal mediated by Doha and Paris, Qatar announced.

“Over the past few hours, medicine and aid entered the Gaza Strip, in implementation of the agreement announced yesterday for the benefit of civilians in the Strip, including hostages,” Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al Ansari wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Under the agreement thrashed out on Tuesday, medicines along with humanitarian aid are to be supplied to civilians in Gaza in exchange for delivering drugs needed by hostages held there.

Forty-five hostages are expected to receive medication according to the agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Earlier, two Qatari planes carrying medicines arrived on Wednesday in the Egyptian city of El-Arish, near the Rafah border crossing, Qatar’s foreign ministry said.

On Wednesday a senior member of Hamas’s political bureau, Musa Abu Marzuk, revealed new conditions for the delivery of medicines to hostages.

“For every box of medicine that goes in for them, 1,000 boxes will go in for residents of Gaza,” he said on X, formerly Twitter.

Marzuk said the medicines would be supplied through a country that Hamas trusts and not France, and would go to different hospitals.

“The pharmaceutical trucks will enter without Israeli inspection.”

But the Israeli military body responsible for civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories, COGAT, told AFP on Wednesday that five trucks carrying medicines would undergo security inspection at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

All aid deliveries entering the Gaza Strip are subject to Israeli scrutiny.

Later Wednesday, Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari told reporters Israel would “do our utmost to check with Qatar that the medicines will reach the hostages who need them”.

Qatar’s foreign ministry said the planes were carrying 61 tonnes of aid, including medicines.

France said the drugs would be sent to a hospital in Rafah where they would be handed over to the Red Cross and divided into batches before being transferred to the hostages.

Hamas released dozens of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel during a November truce mediated by Qatar, which hosts the group’s political office.

 

 

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