Gaza hostages to receive medicines: Israel PM office

Netanyahu's office says a deal negotiated with Qatar will allow the entry of medicines for the hostages held by the Hamas group

By AFP

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People attend a rally for the release of the hostages kidnapped by Hamas at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the UN Headquarters in New York City. — AFP
People attend a rally for the release of the hostages kidnapped by Hamas at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the UN Headquarters in New York City. — AFP

Published: Fri 12 Jan 2024, 10:24 PM

Israel negotiated a deal with Qatar to get medicines through to hostages still being held in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli prime minister's office said on Friday.

The deal "will allow the entry of medicines for the hostages held by the Hamas terrorist organisation in Gaza", Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

Around 250 hostages were seized by Palestinian militants during an unprecedented attack on southern Israel on October 7, 132 of whom remain in captivity although 25 of those are believed to have been killed, according to Israeli figures.

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The families of hostages have launched a high-profile campaign for the government to ramp up efforts to get them freed.

On Tuesday, the campaign group Hostages and Missing Families Forum released a report saying the captives were in poor health, some with complex illnesses, others with injuries.

"All hostages are in great danger and have no time to waste," they said in their report.

In response, government spokesman Eylon Levy said "time is running out" for the captives.

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The October 7 attack by Hamas fighters on Israeli communities and a music festival resulted in the deaths of around 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on Israeli official figures.

Israel has been bombarding Gaza by land, sea and air ever since in an onslaught that has killed at least 23,708 people, mostly women and children, according to the latest Gaza health ministry figures.


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