Qatar warns against Israeli ground attack on Gaza amid hostage negotiations

Qatar warns against Israeli ground attack on Gaza amid hostage negotiations

Shafaq News/ Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid Al-Ansari issued a stark warning on Wednesday, cautioning against any potential Israeli ground attack on Gaza.

Al-Ansari stressed that such a move would significantly complicate the ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas.

"Our most important priority is to return the detainees safely. This requires that they not be harmed in the exchange of fire," Al-Ansari told Reuters, emphasizing Qatar's unwavering commitment to the safety of the detainees.

Al-Ansari further clarified, stating, "Qatar is focusing its mediation efforts on the release of detainees, which is separate from the broader discussions to reduce the escalation."

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, confirmed progress in negotiations regarding the detainees in the Gaza Strip. During a press conference with his Turkish counterpart in Doha, Sheikh Mohammed expressed hope for a breakthrough in the release of detainees "soon."

Qatar, in coordination with the United States, is leading mediation talks between Hamas and Israeli officials. These talks come amidst heightened tensions as Israel prepares for a potential ground assault on the Gaza Strip.

On October 7, Hamas detained 222 individuals, ranging from nine months to 85 years old, prompting Israel to respond with a bombing campaign, air strikes, and a strict siege on Gaza. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported a devastating toll, with at least 5,791 Palestinians killed in Israeli bombings since October 7, including 2,360 children. Shockingly, about 704 people lost their lives in the past 24 hours alone.

Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the alarming disparity in the number of children killed in Gaza, comparing it to casualties in the Ukraine war. He underscored the vital importance of maintaining open communication channels as the only viable path to a peaceful resolution in the region.

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