Qatar, France Send Medicine For Hostages Held By Hamas In Gaza | EUROtoday

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RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — A cargo of drugs for dozens of hostages held by Hamas was en path to Gaza on Wednesday after France and Qatar mediated the primary settlement between Israel and the militant group since a weeklong cease-fire in November.

The medicines arrived in Egypt and have been to be delivered to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which can then hand them over to Hamas. Qatar stated the deal additionally contains the supply of further medication and humanitarian assist to Palestinians within the besieged coastal enclave.

The deal got here greater than 100 days right into a battle that exhibits no signal of ending and which has sparked tensions throughout the Middle East, with a dizzying array of strikes and counterstrikes in latest days from northern Iraq to the Red Sea and from southern Lebanon to Pakistan .

In Gaza, Palestinian militants are nonetheless placing up resistance throughout the slender coastal strip within the face of one of many deadliest army campaigns in latest historical past. Some 85% of the territory’s inhabitants of two.3 million folks have fled their houses and the United Nations says 1 / 4 of the inhabitants is ravenous.

Israel has vowed to dismantle Hamas’ army and governing skills to make sure that it could actually by no means repeat the Oct. 7 assault that triggered the struggle. Militants burst via Israel’s border defenses and stormed via a number of communities, killing some 1,200 folks, principally civilians, and capturing round 250.

Israel has additionally vowed to return the greater than 100 hostages nonetheless held inside Gaza after Hamas launched many of the relaxation in November in alternate for Palestinians imprisoned in Israel. Israel says solely army strain will deliver in regards to the launch of extra captives, however because the preventing grinds on they’re at elevated threat of being killed in Israeli strikes or throughout rescue operations.

Hamas has stated it is not going to launch any extra hostages till there’s a everlasting cease-fire, one thing Israel and the United States, its high ally, have dominated out.


In simply the previous few days, a US-led coalition has carried out strikes in opposition to Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen; Iran has struck what it described as an Israeli spy headquarters in northern Iraq and anti-Iran activists in Pakistan and Syria; and Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah have escalated the depth of their preventing throughout the border.

Iran’s militant allies throughout the area say they’re hanging US and Israeli targets to strain them to halt the Gaza offensive. Iran itself has inspired the assaults whereas avoiding direct involvement, however seemed to be flexing its muscle tissue with the strikes in Syria and Pakistan.

The Houthis have vowed to proceed attacking worldwide delivery within the Red Sea in what they are saying is a blockade of Israel, with repercussions for international commerce.

Each celebration seems to be in search of some type of deterrence in opposition to its adversaries. But the longer the struggle in Gaza lasts, the extra possible it’s that considered one of them goes a step too far, doubtlessly triggering one other struggle.

The largest threat is alongside the Israel-Lebanon border, the place Israel has vowed to halt Hezbollah assaults in order that tens of hundreds of Israelis can return to their houses in communities evacuated in October. Hezbollah hopes to take the strain off Gaza by tying down Israeli troops within the north.

Tensions are additionally hovering within the occupied West Bank, the place Israeli forces have performed near-daily arrest raids that always set off shootouts with Palestinian militants. Israel stated Wednesday that an airstrike within the city Balata refugee camp within the northern West Bank killed 5 folks, together with a senior activist concerned in latest assaults on Israelis. Over 350 Palestinians have been killed within the West Bank since Oct. 7.


Israel stated in the beginning of the 12 months that it had largely dismantled Hamas in northern Gaza and would reduce operations there, specializing in dense city areas within the heart and south of the territory. Additional Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza on Monday, however there was little obvious letup in strikes, with scores of Palestinians killed every single day.

Gaza’s Health Ministry says 24,285 Palestinians have been killed for the reason that begin of the struggle. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths however says round two-thirds of these killed have been girls and kids. Over 60,000 folks have been injured, and fewer than half of Gaza’s hospitals are even partially functioning.

Israel blames the excessive civilian loss of life toll on Hamas as a result of it fights in dense residential areas. Israel says its forces have killed roughly 9,000 militants, with out offering proof, and that 190 of its personal troopers have been killed within the Gaza offensive.

Militants are nonetheless preventing in all components of the territory, and Israel seems no nearer to releasing the scores of hostages nonetheless held by Hamas. Two hostages’ deaths have been confirmed Tuesday after Hamas stated they have been killed in Israeli airstrikes.


France stated it took months to arrange the cargo of the medicines. Qatar, which has lengthy served as a mediator with Hamas, helped dealer the deal that may present three months’ value of medicine for power diseases for 45 of the hostages in addition to different medication and nutritional vitamins. Several older males are among the many remaining hostages held in Gaza.

An Egyptian official confirmed the cargo had arrived on the el-Arish airport and stated the Egyptian Red Crescent rescue service was transporting it to the Rafah border crossing with Gaza. The official was not licensed to transient media and so spoke on situation of anonymity.

Qatar stated the deal contains the supply of further humanitarian assist to Gaza, with out elaborating.

Senior UN officers have warned that Gaza faces widespread famine and illness if extra assist isn’t allowed in.

Israel utterly sealed off Gaza after Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault and solely launched beneath US strain. It says there are actually no limits on the entry of humanitarian assist and that UN businesses may cut back the delays by offering extra staff and vehicles.

But UN officers say assist supply is hobbled by the opening of too few border crossings, a sluggish vetting course of, and persevering with preventing all through the territory — all of which is essentially beneath Israel’s management.

Magdy reported from Cairo and Lidman from Jerusalem.

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