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Qatar says mediation efforts for Gaza ceasefire still ongoing

January 23, 2024 at 1:57 pm

Qatar Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Dr Majed Al-Ansari in Doha, Qatar on 27 March, 2022 [Mohammed Dabbous/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]

Qatar said, Tuesday, that mediation efforts for reaching a ceasefire and hostage swap deal between Israel and Hamas were still ongoing, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We are engaged in serious negotiations and discussions between the two sides of the crisis in Gaza,” Foreign Ministry spokesman, Majed Al-Ansari, told a press conference in Doha.

“Mediation efforts between the Palestinians and Israel are still ongoing and will not stop, regardless of the circumstances on the ground,” he added.

The spokesman accused some parties of seeking to tarnish Qatar’s image, but without specifying.

“This will not deter us from our role as long as there is an opportunity to achieve peace,” he added.

His statements came hours after at least 24 Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush in the southern Gaza Strip.

“The war will do nothing but more losses,” Al-Ansari said, adding that Doha is holding contacts with the US to halt the Israeli war and allow the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

Israel launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on 7 October, killing at least 25,490 Palestinians and injuring 63,354. Nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

The Israeli onslaught has left 85 per cent of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

READ: Israel minister: We will not agree to a deal that includes a ceasefire