Qatar, who mediated a four-day truce between Hamas and Israel, has announced an additional 48-hour pause in fighting. Israel and Hamas have agreed for the pause. The additional truce aims to provide relief to the region, allowing for critical humanitarian aid to reach those in need.
A fourth exchange of prisoners took place since the Gaza truce was initiated. Thirty-three Palestinians, including three women and 30 children, who were detained by Israel, have been released. Simultaneously, the Red Cross facilitated the release and transfer of 11 Israeli captives held in Gaza.
Israel has killed over 15,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, since its assault on Gaza began on 7 October.
Qatar, a key player in the negotiations, emphasised the priority of releasing civilian women and children, with discussions on the release of military detainees set to follow. The total number of captives held in Gaza remains uncertain. Qatar has confirmed the number to be released.
Speaking on the negotiations, Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson, Majed al-Ansari, singled out Israel as the toughest party in the process. He pointed out the challenges faced in reaching a comprehensive agreement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed a desire to resume hostilities after the ceasefire. Analyst Sultan Barakat warns that such a move may face international pushback. He cited divisions in Europe and pressure from Arab neighbouring countries. Barakat suggests that Israel may not be in the best position to gather the international support if they persist on resuming the war.
The dialysis unit at al-Shifa Hospital has been reopened, and receives patients, according to a statement from Gaza’s Health Ministry. The unit remained closed since Israeli troops raided the hospital earlier this month, leading to the evacuation of hundreds of patients and thousands of displaced people.
This development is particularly crucial for the 180 patients, including 22 individuals on kidney dialysis, who were abruptly displaced.
Israeli claimed that al-Shifa Hospital was being used as a command centre by Hamas. However, both Hamas and the hospital staff denied these claims.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there are still 180 patients, including the 22 individuals requiring kidney dialysis, and seven healthcare workers at al-Shifa Hospital. WHO added that more casualties will occur from diseases than bombings if the healthcare system is not restored properly.
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