DOHA: Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Majed Al-Ansari, on Tuesday said that negotiations to secure the release of hostages taken during Hamas’s October 7 attacks have reached their “closest point” to a deal. He said that discussions are in the “final stage” to strike a deal to release hostages.
During a briefing on Tuesday, Qatar, acting as a mediator, expressed optimism and hope. Foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari stated, “We are at the closest point we ever had been in reaching an agreement,” noting that negotiations have entered a “critical and final stage.”
Qatar’s mediation efforts have aimed at securing the release of some of the 240 hostages in exchange for a ceasefire. So far, this initiative has resulted in the release of four hostages. “We are very optimistic, very hopeful,” Al-Ansari emphasized. “But we are also very keen for this mediation to succeed in reaching a humanitarian truce.”
Dr. @majedalansari, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the weekly media briefing:
We are working towards an agreement taking place and we are now at the closest point we ever have been in reaching and an agreement. We are very optimistic, we are very… pic.twitter.com/Kdz4b47bwQ
— Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Qatar (@MofaQatar_EN) November 21, 2023
Israel Continues Relentless Bombing Campaign in Gaza
Israel, responding to the October 7 attacks, has pledged to eliminate the Palestinian resistance group Hamas. Israel has continued a relentless and brutal bombing campaign and a ground offensive in Gaza, resulting in more than 13,300 deaths of innocent Palestinians, with two-thirds being women or children, according to the territory’s health ministry.
Despite recent speculation about a tentative agreement reported by the Washington Post, the United States clarified on Saturday that it is still working towards securing a deal between Israel and Hamas. The reported agreement suggested a pause in fighting in exchange for the release of women and children hostages, with combat operations on hold for at least five days.
In response to the speculations, Al-Ansari said, “We have seen a lot of the leaks or the statements here and there, but we would prefer to keep our statements until we have a final decision on the agreement.”