Hostage negotiations aimed at producing a multi-day ceasefire in return for the release of some of the estimated 240 people believed held by militants in Gaza were progressing Sunday but a deal remained uncertain, officials said.
“The sticking points, honestly, at this stage are more practical, logistical, not really something to present the call-off of the deal,” Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, who has been involved in the talks,.
Reports of various deals for the release of dozens of women and children have been circulating for weeks, but thus far only four hostages have been released and one rescued. Still, Deputy U.S. National Security Advisor Jon Finer said Sunday the talks had reached a “very sensitive” stage. He said the fate of the hostages remains an “incredibly high priority” for President Joe Biden and his entire administration.
“We’re following this minute by minute, hour by hour, and have been over a number of weeks.” Finer told
Israel has been focused on crushing Hamas since Oct. 7, when Hamas militants made the now-infamous raid into Israeli border communities that left more than 1,200 dead and another 240 people captured and taken to Gaza as hostages. The Gaza Health Ministry says Israel’s ensuing military campaign has.
Fuel getting to Gaza ‘far from enough’
∎ Biden pitched his plan for post-war Gaza and the West Bank in a, saying the two Palestinian enclaves should be reunited “ultimately under a revitalized Palestinian Authority.” Israel, however, has balked at ceding security control of Gaza after the war.
∎ Cpl. Noa Marciano, a 19-year-old female Israeli soldier whose body was recovered last week in Gaza, was killed inside Shifa Hospital by Hamas, the Israeli military said. Hamas has said an Israeli air strike killed her.
∎ Beijing will host a delegation of foreign ministers from Arab and Islamic countries, including the Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister, to help find a solution to the war, the Chinese foreign ministry said Sunday.
. Mohamed Zaqout, director of Gaza hospitals, said four babies had died at the hospital late last week.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director-general, credited the Palestinian Red Crescent Society with“under extremely intense and high-risk” conditions.
“We’re deeply moved and impressed by the extraordinary bravery and service of the health workers in Gaza, who continue to serve under the most dire and difficult circumstances,” Tedros said.
The babies were taken to the neonatal intensive care unit at a maternity hospital in southern Gaza and are expected to go from there to facilities in Egypt. They had dehydration, hypothermia and sepsis in some cases, Zaqout said.
Planning is underway to transport the dozens of hospital staff and critically ill patients remaining at the hospital when safe passage can be secured, Tedros said. The hospital has been under siege for weeks amid Israeli claims it was being used by Hamas to stash fighters and weaponry.
shows what the Israel Defense Forces calls “the first, very sophisticated shaft” on hospital grounds, along with several weapons and ammunition cartridges. The IDF said the shaft leads to about 30 feet under the compound and included a staircase, blast-proof door and a firing hole that could be used by snipers. The findings could not be independently verified.
The Israeli military alsosaying they showed two foreign hostages taken to the hospital by Hamas forces after the Oct. 7 attack. “These findings prove that the Hamas terrorist organization used the Shifa Hospital complex on the day of the October 7 Massacre as terrorist infrastructure,” the posting said. Neither that assertion nor the contents of the video could be verified.
In response to the videos showing the shaft and tunnel, senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told the Associated Press: “The Israelis said there was a command and control center, which means that the matter is greater than just a tunnel.”
. “These acts not only blatantly contravene the rules of war, they also show a total disregard for humanity.”
Large groups of people
Contributing: The Associated Press
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