Red Cross president meets Hamas chief in Qatar to discuss Gaza war humanitarian issues

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It pointed out that she has also met “multiple times in recent weeks with families of hostages held in Gaza, as well as senior Israeli and Palestinian leaders”.

The Geneva-based organisation stressed that it was continuing “to appeal for the urgent protection of all victims in the conflict, and for the alleviation of the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza strip”.

“ICRC staff in Gaza have been delivering life-saving assistance, and an ICRC surgical team continues to perform operations,” it said, adding that it was “calling for sustained, safe humanitarian access so it can increase its work”.

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The organisation stressed that it had “persistently called for the immediate release of hostages”.

“The ICRC is insisting that our teams be allowed to visit the hostages to check on their welfare and deliver medications, and for the hostages to be able to communicate with their families,” it said.

“Agreements must be reached that allow the ICRC to safely carry out this work. The ICRC cannot force its way in to where hostages are held, nor do we know their location,” it added.

The ICRC, which has already helped facilitate the release of four hostages on two separate occasions, emphasised that it “does not take part in negotiations leading to the release of hostages”.

But it added that “as a neutral humanitarian intermediary, we remain ready to facilitate any future release that the parties to the conflict agree to”.


Premature babies evacuated from al-Shifa after Israeli troops seize Gaza’s biggest hospital

Premature babies evacuated from al-Shifa after Israeli troops seize Gaza’s biggest hospital

US President Joe Biden said on Monday he believes a deal to free hostages in Gaza is close.

“I believe so,” Biden, who was taking part in a Thanksgiving turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House, said when asked whether a hostage deal was near.

Biden then crossed his fingers to signal he hoped for good luck.

Qatar’s prime minister said on Sunday that a deal to free some of the hostages in return for a temporary ceasefire now hinges on “minor” practical issues.

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The White House said the negotiations were in the “endgame” stage, but refused to give further details, saying it could jeopardise a successful outcome.

“We believe we’re closer than we’ve ever been, so we’re hopeful,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

“But there’s still work to be done. And nothing is done until it’s all done. So we’re going to keep working on this.”

Kirby added that arrangements were still being made on all sides.

“When you hit go, you’re counting on everybody to meet their commitments. And that’s what we’re doing,” he said.

The Washington Post newspaper reported on Saturday there was a tentative agreement to free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting.


Where China stands on the Israel-Gaza war

Where China stands on the Israel-Gaza war

On Monday, the Gaza health ministry charged that Israel’s army killed at least 12 people in a strike on the Indonesian Hospital in the Palestinian territory’s north, where entire city blocks have been reduced to rubble.

Those killed included patients, said Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the ministry.

Hamas authorities have reported a total death toll of more than 13,300, mostly civilians, from the Israel-Gaza war now in its seventh week.

Late on Monday, Qudra said about 100 patients had so far been evacuated from the Indonesian Hospital, in coordination with the Red Cross.

Hundreds remained inside but efforts continued to move them to hospitals in southern Gaza, Qudra added.

Israel did not immediately comment.

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