Medicines for hostages in Gaza and humanitarian aid for civilians have entered the war-torn Palestinian territory under a deal mediated by Doha and Paris, Qatar has announced.

“Over the past few hours, medicine and aid entered the Gaza Strip, in implementation of the agreement announced yesterday for the benefit of civilians in the Strip, including hostages,” Qatar’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed Al Ansari wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday local time.

Under the agreement, medicines along with humanitarian aid are to be supplied to civilians in Gaza in exchange for delivering drugs needed by hostages held there.

Forty-five hostages are expected to receive medication according to the deal between Israel and Hamas.

Earlier, two Qatari planes carrying medicines arrived in the Egyptian city of El-Arish, near the Rafah border crossing, Qatar’s foreign ministry said.

On Wednesday, a senior member of Hamas’ political bureau, Musa Abu Marzuk, revealed new conditions for the delivery of medicines to hostages.

“For every box of medicine that goes in for them, 1,000 boxes will go in for residents of Gaza,” he wrote on X.

Several tents are spread out on a dirt path with a white truck parked in front of them.

Security personnel guard trucks carrying aid into Gaza.(Reuters: Mohammed Salem)

Mr Marzuk said the medicines would be supplied through a country that Hamas trusts and would go to different hospitals.

“The pharmaceutical trucks will enter without Israeli inspection.”

But the Israeli military responsible for civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories, COGAT, told AFP on Wednesday that five trucks carrying medicines would undergo security inspection at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

All aid deliveries entering the Gaza Strip are subject to Israeli scrutiny.

Later on Wednesday, Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari told reporters Israel would “do our utmost to check with Qatar that the medicines will reach the hostages who need them”.

Qatar’s foreign ministry said the planes were carrying 61 tonnes of aid, including medicines.

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France said the drugs would be sent to a hospital in Rafah, where they would be handed over to the Red Cross and divided into batches before being transferred to the hostages.

Hamas released dozens of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel during a November truce mediated by Qatar, which hosts the group’s political office.

Some 250 people were taken to Gaza by Palestinian militants during the unprecedented October 7 attack by Hamas on southern Israeli communities.

Israeli officials say 132 of them are still being held captive in the territory, including 27 who are believed to have been killed, according to an AFP tally.

The October 7 attack resulted in the death of around 1,140 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on the latest official Israeli figures.

Since then, Israel has launched a blistering assault in Gaza that has killed at least 24,448 people, more than 70 per cent of them women and children, according to the Hamas government’s health ministry.

AFP



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