Mediator Qatar urges rapid int’l action to stop Gaza violence



Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani at a press conference in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 5, 2023. (Reuters Photo)

Gulf emirate Qatar, which mediated the week long Israel-Hamas truce, urged on Friday swift international action to stop the resumption of Israeli violence in the Gaza Strip.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said it stresses that continued bombing at the end of the pause “complicates mediation efforts and exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe in the Strip, and … calls on the international community to move quickly to stop the violence.”

It added “its condemnation of all forms of targeting civilians, the practice of collective punishment, and attempts to forcibly displace and displace citizens of the besieged Gaza Strip, and its demand for an immediate cease-fire.”

Qatar has been engaged in intense negotiations, with support from Egypt and the United States, to repeatedly prolong a truce in Gaza that had lasted a total of seven days after two extensions.

The agreement was designed to be continued if Hamas could release 10 hostages per day.

But after the truce expired Friday morning, the Israeli army said its combat operations had resumed.

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry confirmed negotiations between Israel and Hamas “are continuing with the aim of returning to a pause.”

The emirate added it was “committed, along with its mediation partners, to continuing the efforts that led to the humanitarian pause, and will not hesitate to do everything necessary to return to calm.”

During the truce 80 Israeli hostages were freed in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners.

Negotiations between Hamas and other nations under a separate framework led to the release of more than 20 other foreign nationals, mostly Thais.

Late Thursday, eight more Israeli hostages were freed under the terms of the deal.

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