Israel and Hamas

Israel and Hamas negotiate to release civilian hostages in Gaza


Israel-Hamas War: In the latest update of violence-hit West Asia, Israel and Hamas are currently negotiating two hostage release proposals, one involving a small number of people to be released, and the other involving the release of 100 or more civilians held in Gaza, reported US media.

As the Israel- Hamas war has entered Day 36, Israel is facing mounting international pressure, including from its main ally the United States, to do more to protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza as the death toll has risen amid fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants.

Thousands of Palestinians are continuing to flee from northern Gaza with the intensifying of Israel’s military operations near and around hospitals in north Gaza City. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted in a statement on Thursday evening that there would be “no ceasefire” without the release of hostages held by Hamas.

In the recently concluded India – US 22 Dialogue meeting in New Delhi, India reiterated the need for a two-state solution to end the current Israel-Palestinian crisis. The Foreign and Defence Ministers of both countries focussed on the 7th of October Hamas attack on Israel and called for the “immediate release” of those being held hostage in the Gaza Strip.

India and the U.S. also called for “humanitarian pauses” in the conflict. This came when Israel agreed to a four-hour pause in fighting daily, which allowed civilians to evacuate south and facilitate the entry of essential aid to the besieged territory.

On the Shifa hospital bombardment, the Israeli government said that the Hamas headquarters was in the Shifa hospital’s basement, which meant the facility could lose its protected status and become a legitimate target. Israel alleged that Hamas hid weapons in tunnels under hospitals but Hamas denied the charge.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron has stressed on call for a ceasefire in the region. While recognizing Israel’s right to protect itself, he also urged it to stop bombing in Gaza.

The World Health Organisation on Friday said 20 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are no longer functioning after a reported Israeli strike in the area. WHO also verified that more than 250 attacks on hospitals, clinics, patients, and ambulances took place in Gaza since the 7th of October, as well as 25 attacks on health care in Israel.

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