TEL AVIV, Israel — A possible deal to free some of the nearly 240 hostages captured by Hamas during last month’s attacks on Israel appears to be moving forward, but the details and timeline of such a deal remain unclear.
Meanwhile, more than two dozen premature babies who had been from Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, damaged during the fighting and deprived of electricity to operate its incubators, were transported on Monday to Egyptian hospitals.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said the infants – part of a group of 31 people evacuated earlier from Al-Shifa – were taken to the Emirati hospital in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. before crossing in Egypt. Dr. Mohammed Salamah of the United Arab Emirates told News that three of the newborns were determined to be in stable condition and did not need to be transferred.
Local television broadcast video of ambulances transporting infants from Gaza to Egypt.
Details emerge on possible deal
The hostage release deal under discussion could come in exchange for the freedom of many Palestinian prisoners and a temporary pause in hostilities in the ongoing war that has killed some 1,200 Israelis and nearly 13,000 Gazans, according to officials. Palestinian officials.
Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, moderator of the talks, described the remaining obstacles to a hostage deal as “minor”. The sticking points “are more logistical, more practical,” he said Sunday at a joint news conference with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Doha.
Jon Finer, Deputy National Security Advisor of the United States, speaking on NBC Meet the press, was also cautiously optimistic, saying that the parties were “closer than we are” to an agreement and that “the gaps have narrowed.” However, Finer noted that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”
Israeli media suggested that the negotiations would involve the possible exchange of 50 to 100 women and children detained on both sides, in addition to a several-day pause in fighting.
Any deal should first be given the green light by the Israeli cabinet after a complex approval process, which could take up to 72 hours, according to Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper.
Reports of Israeli strike on another hospital in Gaza
Monday in northern Gaza, the territory ruled by Hamas The Health Ministry said at least a dozen people were killed at another hospital during an Israeli bombardment. News was unable to independently verify the number of casualties at the Indonesian hospital.
In a statement, the Israeli military said its forces had received fire from inside the building. In response, “IDF troops directly targeted the specific source of enemy fire,” but “no shells were fired in the direction of the hospital,” according to the statement sent to News.
Israel, which says Gaza hospitals are used as secret Hamas command posts, has faced harsh international criticism for its military strikes on medical facilities.
The deaths reported at the Indonesian hospital came after the Israeli military released a video that it says proves the Hamas extremist group was using Al-Shifa Hospital as a base of operations. Israel claims that Hamas was holding hostages at Al-Shifa, which is now controlled by Israeli forces, and that it had recovered the bodies of two of the captives near the facility.
Jordan says it is sending a field hospital to Gaza to replace those damaged or destroyed by Israeli airstrikes. Palestinian officials said it would be the first field hospital to arrive since the war began last month.
Furthermore, in a press release published on Sunday, the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, said he was “deeply shocked” by the murder, on Saturday, of “dozens of people, including many women and children”, in two schools run by UNRWA, the United Nations refugee agency that oversees Palestinians. . At least one of the schools was being used as a shelter by civilians in Gaza, according to the UN.
Scott Neuman, Brian Mann and Greg Myre reported from Tel Aviv. Jane Arraf reported from Amman, Jordan.