Israel and Hamas are steadily advancing in talks to deliver vital medicine to the hostages being held in Gaza as part of discussions to increase more humanitarian aid for Palestinian refugees, Qatari negotiators said.
With more than 130 hostages still being held captive in Gaza, loved ones have cried out about the lack of medication many of their relatives are likely going without after being kidnapped by Hamas on Oct 7.
Daniel Lifshitz, the grandson of hostage Oded Lifshitz, 83, said family members of the hostages have met with Qatari officials to advocate for cancer and diabetes medication to be delivered to their relatives, The New York Times reports.
Lifshitz said that he is worried about his grandfather’s health given that he has been in captivity for nearly 100 days, with many of the elderly and sickly hostages lacking access to their daily medications.
“The fact that so many hostages have been denied the medications they need is a death sentence,” he said. “They should have received what they needed on the first day.”
Qatar, which is negotiating peace talks between Israel and Hamas, said both sides are actively discussing what type of medication is needed and how to deliver it to the hostages.
Husam Badran, a senior Hamas official, noted that the discussions on delivering the medicine were met “with great positivity,” the Times reports.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has called for Hamas to allow their medics to treat and assess the hostages, but Israel has repeatedly accused the health organization of not pushing enough to help those being held captive.
Along with the aid to hostages, Israel and Hamas also appear committed to allowing more humanitarian relief efforts to reach Palestinian refugees, as nearly all of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been displaced by the war.
White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters Thursday that the situation in Gaza was dire after incoming aid trucks were surrounded by desperate refugees looking for food and basic supplies.
“We recognize that there are real food security issues in Gaza,” Kirby said. “We understand there’s a lot of hunger and starvation in Gaza.
“There is not enough trucks getting in, we’re not satisfied with the level right now,” he added.
Israel has said it would coordinate to help more aid reach Gazans and insisted that the lack of aid is the fault of the United Nations for allegedly failing to deploy enough workers to distribute the supplies.
Humanitarian groups have blamed Israel’s bombardments for damaging aid vehicles and supply routes, which the Jewish State denies.
While the talks over aid for the hostages and Palestinian refugees continue, concurrent discussions on freeing the hostages have yielded no results.
Israeli and Hamas officials are currently mulling a deal allegedly proposed by Qatari negotiations that would see the hostages freed in exchange for the terrorist group’s leaders permanent exile from Gaza.
The deal would also call on Israel to end its war campaign and withdraw entirely from the Strip, according to local Channel 13 News.
The potential deal is expected to face resistance from both sides, as Hamas said no hostages will be freed until Israel releases every Palestinian in its prisons.
Meanwhile, Israeli leaders have reiterated that the war in Gaza will not end until Hamas and its terror work are utterly destroyed.