Israel and Hamas Reach Agreement on Gaza Aid

About 85% of Gaza's population has been displaced. EPA

By Henri Astier, Jan 17: Qatar and France have reportedly brokered a deal between Israel and Hamas to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza. Qatari mediators state that, as part of the agreement, medicines will be provided to hostages held by Hamas, and in return, Israel will allow more essential supplies into Gaza. The dire conditions in Gaza have resulted from over three months of Israeli bombardment. The US expresses hope that ongoing talks may lead to the release of additional hostages, with the US Middle East envoy engaged in discussions in Qatar. The Qatari foreign ministry spokesman announced the aid agreement, which involves sending humanitarian supplies to Egypt from Doha, with the aid destined for Gaza’s civilians and medicines intended for Israeli captives. The deal aims to address the critical situation in Gaza and the well-being of hostages, with over 132 individuals still believed to be held. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged efforts to secure the deal, emphasizing the importance of assistance in this endeavor. The situation in Gaza, marked by significant displacement and humanitarian challenges, has drawn international attention, urging considerations for a ceasefire or pause in hostilities. The US, despite supporting Israel’s right to self-defense, has raised concerns about the high civilian death toll and the urgent need for essential goods to reach Gaza.

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