Qatar, a key power in efforts to free hostages held by Hamas in Israel, believes that They may be released “very soon” thanks to ongoing talks, According to a spokesman for the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
The Doha mediation played a key role in the release on Friday night of two American hostages held since the Palestinian militant group’s attack on Israel on October 7, and the Gulf state added that it was holding talks with Israel and Hamas. .
“I can’t promise you that this will happen today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. But we are taking a path that will lead very soon to the release of the hostages, especially the civilians,” declared Majed Al-Ansari. “We are currently working on an agreement under which all civilian hostages will be initially released”he added.
Qatar’s role as mediator surprised the international community. The release of the two North Americans and these new announcements became a display of negotiating power that, until now, was unknown.
Al-Ansari stated: “The release of the two American citizens has shown us and our partners that the efforts made in recent days are feasible and must continue.”
Israel claims that 210 people – Israelis, citizens with dual nationality and foreigners – were kidnapped by Hamas gunmen when they launched the deadliest attacks in Israel’s 75-year history. At least 1,400 people were killed, mostly civilians, according to the government.
Israel has responded with a relentless bombing campaign against the Gaza Strip that has left at least 4,385 dead, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas administration.
The two women They had been kidnapped by Hamas while visiting the Nahal Oz kibbutz in southern Israel. and they were the first hostage releases confirmed by both sides.
The hostages identified as Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter Natalie Shoshana Raanan arrived safely in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Friday night.
The spokesman for the Gulf country’s Foreign Ministry, which houses Hamas’s political bureau, noted that the release occurred “after several days of continuous communication between all parties involved.”
This is the first release of hostages. Hamas assured that it is working “with all the mediators involved to implement the movement’s decision to close the case of [los rehenes] civilians if appropriate security conditions permit.”
The Israeli army stated a few hours earlier that most of the hostages were still alive and that more than 20 were minors.
“Our compatriots have lived through a terrible experience these last 14 days and I am very happy that they will soon be reunited with their families,” Biden reacted.
With information from AFP and Europa Press