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Friday, May 24, 2024

Medicine arrives in Gaza for the hostages

The agreement entails sending 1,000 boxes of medicine for Palestinians for every box provided to the hostages.

On Wednesday, a shipment of medication destined for dozens of hostages held by Hamas arrived in Gaza, marking the first agreement between Israel and the militant group since a weeklong cease-fire in November.

The delivery is part of a mediated deal facilitated by France and Qatar, potentially offering relief to around 100 remaining hostages and addressing the urgent medical needs of Palestinians in Gaza. Despite this development, ongoing conflict persists in various parts of the besieged enclave, with no clear resolution or release of hostages in sight.

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Majed al-Ansari, announced on Wednesday that the medicine had entered Gaza, emphasizing its implementation for the benefit of civilians, including hostages. The distribution details and timeline for the aid were not specified in the announcement.

One box for 1000 boxes 

According to a senior Hamas official, the agreement entails sending 1,000 boxes of medicine for Palestinians for every box provided to the hostages. Additionally, the deal includes the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza residents.

This agreement comes 100 days into the conflict, with Palestinian militants continuing to resist amid one of the deadliest military campaigns in recent history. Over 24,000 Palestinians have lost their lives, and 85% of the 2.3 million people in the narrow coastal territory have been displaced, leading to a quarter of the population facing starvation, as reported by the United Nations.

Israel’s commitment to dismantling Hamas stems from the October 7 attack that triggered the conflict, resulting in the death of approximately 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and the capture of around 250 individuals. Israel has also pledged to secure the return of hostages within Gaza.

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Hamas has stated that it will not release more hostages until a permanent cease-fire is established, a condition rejected by Israel and the United States. The previous deal in late November brought a temporary truce, releasing over 100 hostages and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Senior U.N. officials have cautioned about the risk of widespread famine and disease in Gaza without increased aid. While Israel claims no restrictions on humanitarian aid entry, U.N. agencies point to challenges such as limited border crossings, a slow vetting process, and ongoing fighting, mostly under Israeli control, impeding aid delivery.