Qatar mediates four-day humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas

Qatar mediates four-day humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas

Shafaq News/ On Wednesday, Qatar announced a breakthrough in mediation efforts between Israel and Hamas, resulting in a four-day humanitarian truce, subject to extension, aimed at de-escalating tensions in the Gaza Strip.

Qatari foreign ministry stated, "The exchange agreement marks the first stage, with a commitment to enhancing the numbers of those released in the subsequent stages of implementing the agreement."

The Qatari spokesperson also highlighted that the truce, a key component of the agreement, will facilitate the entry of an expanded number of humanitarian convoys and relief aid, including fuel designated for essential needs.

Qatar reiterated its dedication to diplomatic efforts aimed at de-escalation, preventing further bloodshed, and safeguarding civilians. In this context, Qatar appreciated the mediation efforts led by Egypt and the United States, emphasizing their crucial role in supporting the agreement and fostering a conducive environment for peace.

The truce includes the release of 50 civilian women and children held by Hamas in exchange for the release of a number of Palestinian women and children imprisoned in Israel.

The truce will permit the entry of humanitarian convoys and relief aid, including fuel for essential needs.

Hamas movement has officially confirmed the conclusion of a truce agreement, outlining key terms that include a mutual ceasefire, the cessation of all military actions by the Israeli occupation army in all areas of the Gaza Strip, and a halt to the movement of military vehicles into Gaza.

As part of the agreement, Hamas emphasized the entry of hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian, relief, medical, and fuel aid into all areas of the Gaza Strip, except in the north and south regions.

The movement clarified that releasing prisoners under 19 is central to the agreement, with specifics determined by seniority. The terms include the release of 50 women and children held by the Israeli occupation under the age of 19 in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinian women and children under the age of 19 from Israeli prisons, following a seniority criterion.

Additional measures within the truce involve suspending air traffic in the southern Gaza Strip for four days and restricting air traffic in the north for 6 hours a day, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Hamas underscored that during the truce period, the Israeli occupation is committed not to attack or arrest anyone in all areas of the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, freedom of movement for people from north to south along Salah al-Din Street (east of the Gaza Strip) is ensured.

In a concluding statement, Hamas asserted, "While we announce the truce agreement, we affirm that our hands will remain on the trigger, and we promise our people that we will remain loyal to their blood, their sacrifices, and their aspirations for liberation, freedom, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."

After a five-hour discussion, the Israeli government approved the agreement, including the first phase's broad outlines. The ratified agreement's first phase involves the release of at least 50 kidnapped women and children over four days, coinciding with a cessation of hostilities. Additionally, Israel will permit approximately 300 aid trucks daily to enter Gaza from Egypt, with increased fuel allowances during the ceasefire, according to an Israeli official.

Axios reported that in the second stage of the agreement, Hamas may release additional women, children, and elderly individuals in exchange for Israel extending the ceasefire for an extended period. However, it was clarified that Israel would not release Palestinian prisoners convicted of killing Israelis.

The implementation date of the agreement remains unclear.

Netanyahu declared on Tuesday that the ongoing conflict will persist even after the conclusion of the hostage deal, asserting that the objective is the destruction of Hamas and the complete release of all hostages.

Speaking at the Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu revealed that he recently engaged in discussions with U.S. President Joe Biden, urging him to enhance the terms of the deal. Netanyahu stated, "The deal has been improved to encompass more hostages at a reduced cost, and President Biden assisted us in this regard. I express my gratitude to him for his support."

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