Qatar is mediating negotiations between Israel and Hamas for the potential release of 10-15 hostages held in Gaza in exchange for a short ceasefire, a source briefed on the talks told AFP Wednesday.
“Negotiations mediated by the Qataris in coordination with the US are ongoing to secure the release of 10-15 hostages in exchange for a one- to two-day ceasefire,” the informed source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the talks’ sensitivity.
Fighting has raged in Gaza for over a month following the Palestinian militant group’s shock October 7 attack that killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and took more than 240 hostages, according to Israeli authorities.
In Gaza, 10,569 people, also mostly civilians, have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory military campaign, the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory has said.
Qatar has been engaged in intense diplomacy to secure the release of those held by Hamas, negotiating the handover of four hostages – two Israelis and two Americans – in recent weeks.
The Gulf state has been a fierce supporter of the Palestinian cause and has open channels of communication with Hamas, the rulers of Gaza.
Qatar, which hosts the largest US military base in the Middle East, also hosts the political office of Hamas and is the main residence of its self-exiled leader Ismail Haniyeh.