Israel In Talks With Hamas To Swap Hostages With Prisoners With Qatar Acting As Mediator, Says Report

Israel In Talks With Hamas To Swap Hostages With Prisoners With Qatar Acting As Mediator, Says Report

Nearly four days after the Israeli military stormed the biggest hospital in the Gaza Strip, the World Health Organization described the complex as a “death zone” where several patients had died because medical services had been shut down.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, November 20, 2023, 05:17 PM IST
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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu | Photo: AFP

Reports are swirling that Israel and Hamas are nearing an agreement on the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip. The deal is being brokered by Qatar with officials there suggesting it could be nearing completion pending 'minor details.' None other than Qatar's Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Sunday that only "very minor" practical and logistical obstacles remain.

Israel and the US, however, have denied any such deal. The Washington Post newspaper, too, has reported that Israel and Hamas are "close to an agreement on a US-brokered deal that would free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting", citing "people familiar with the emerging terms".

White House Denies Information Of Deal

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson posted on X: "We have not reached a deal yet, but we continue to work hard to get to a deal."

DEATH ZONE: Nearly four days after the Israeli military stormed the biggest hospital in the Gaza Strip, the World Health Organization described the complex as a “death zone” where several patients had died because medical services had been shut down. There remained 291 patients, including 32 babies, in extremely critical condition, at Al-Shifa Hospital, the UN agency said in a statement, after Israeli forces allowed a UN team to tour the facility for an hour.

Many of the 31 babies evacuated from the al-Shifa hospital have 'lost their parents in bombardments' by Israel, the Palestinian Red Crescent has said. The 31 newborns were taken to the Emirati Hospital in Rafah, a spokesperson told the BBC. Parents who survived had been ordered to leave Gaza City before their babies' evacuation, and their whereabouts are now unknown, she said.

Incidentally, Israel found conclusive proof of a subterranean military base at the hospital. A senior advisor to Israel's prime minister said the IDF has found a command room under the al-Shifa hospital complex. They also shared the conclusive evidence of the control room in a video on X. He added that there are fears that booby traps may have been laid by fleeing Hamas fighters for IDF troops.

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