Qatar works to prolong ceasefire between Hamas, Israel

Qatar aims to extend the ceasefire to allow for the delivery of essential aid.

Doha: Efforts are underway to further extend the temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza. The four-day ceasefire, initiated last Friday, has already been extended by an additional two days, set to conclude on Thursday morning Pakistan time. Discussions are ongoing regarding the potential extension beyond the initial six days.

During a weekly briefing, Dr. Majid bin Mohammed Al-Ansari, the spokesperson for the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasized Qatar’s commitment to mediate and extend the ceasefire for humanitarian aid in Gaza. Qatar aims to extend the ceasefire to allow for the delivery of essential aid, with plans to release 20 Israelis within the next 48 hours, releasing 10 daily.

In a positive development on the fifth day of the temporary ceasefire, Hamas released 12 hostages, including 10 Israelis. However, reports from Arab media suggest that Israel has arrested many Palestinians previously released during the ceasefire. Over the first four days, Israel released 150 Palestinians but arrested 133.

Amid concerns about disease outbreaks, the United Nations and the Red Crescent delivered food, medicine, water, and humanitarian aid to civilians in northern Gaza on the fifth day of the ceasefire. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) expresses worry about the potential for widespread diseases, citing cholera, skin infections, and sanitation-related illnesses.

As the conflict continues, the number of Palestinians who have lost their lives due to Israeli actions in Gaza since October 7 has surpassed 15,000. Additionally, 160 bodies were recovered from buildings destroyed by Israeli bombings. The World Health Organization reports that 80% of Gaza’s 1.8 million people have been displaced since October 7, heightening the need for sustained humanitarian efforts.

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