GAZA: Hamas officials have said that no hostages will be freed without ceasefire in Gaza. According to Arab media, Hamas official Osama Hamdan responded to Israeli media reports that the group was nearing a deal on a new hostage release. He said that Hamas has informed all mediators that their priority is to halt the aggression against Gaza once and for all, Arab media maintained.
He added that there is currently no dialogue of a hostage exchange before fighting in the Gaza Strip stops. Osama Hamdan said that a possible release of hostages in exchange for a month-long truce, a detail that was published by Israeli media, has not been discussed.
Qatari officials have told Israel that Hamas is ready in principle’ to resume hostage talks, Arab media reported on Friday. Arab media citied Israeli media as saying that Qatari officials informed Israel that Hamas is agreed to resume talks on captives. Efforts to resume talks have been at an impasse since an earlier break in war ended in November.
Earlier, Doha helped broker weeklong truce of the war in Gaza. During the break in fighting 110 Israeli captives and 240 Palestinian prisoners were freed.
Meanwhile, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that he is “very concerned” regarding the increasing threat of infectious diseases in Gaza, western media reported on Friday.
War on Gaza
In a statement via social media, Tedros said that as people continue to be massively displaced across Gaza, with some people forced to move multiple times and many sheltering in overcrowded health facilities. He added that his WHO colleagues and he remain very concerned regarding the increasing threat of infectious diseases in the Gaza Strip.
The Health Ministry in Gaza said that at least 187 people were killed during the past 24 hours in the Gaza Strip. It added that more than 55,915 people have been injured mostly women and children in Gaza during the war. Meanwhile, Israel continued to pound south and central Gaza on Friday. The UN has said that some 1.87 million Palestinians, over 80 percent of Gaza’s population, have left their homes because of the brutal Israeli bombardment of the besieged enclave.
It said more displaced people have arrived in the southern border city of Rafah in recent days after the fighting between Israel and Hamas intensified.