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JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel has made an arrangement with Qatar that will allow the delivery of medicines to hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, the Israeli prime minister’s office said on Friday, January 12.
The medications would be given to the hostages “in the next few days,” the office said in a statement.
The Hostages and Missing Families Forum, which represents the families of hostages, said it would demand “visual proof” the medications had reached the hostages.
“After 98 days in Hamas tunnels, all hostages face immediate mortal danger and need life-saving medicines,” a statement from the forum said. “In addition to medicines, the hostages require also extensive medical treatment.”
Many of the hostages are elderly and have chronic illnesses that require daily medications. Their families have petitioned the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit the hostages to deliver medicine and inspect their conditions. The Red Cross has said Hamas has denied it access.
More than 100 hostages remain in Gaza after an October 7 rampage by militants from Hamas who killed 1,200 people and took 240 people hostage, according to Israel’s tally. Israel has since laid waste to the Palestinian enclave in a campaign to eliminate Hamas.
In a deal brokered by Qatar and the United States that allowed for a brief truce in November, Hamas freed almost half the hostages in return for the release by Israel of scores of Palestinian detainees, as well as an increase in humanitarian aid shipments to Gaza.
Released hostages have described dire conditions in Hamas captivity, including torture, sexual assault, and lack of vital medicines. – Rappler.com