Qatar says in ‘very difficult’ talks over release of hostages held in Gaza

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi has confirmed that Doha has been engaged in a "very, very difficult negotiation" to free hostages held in the Gaza Strip since October 7.

“It’s a very, very difficult negotiation that we’ve been dealing with,” the top Qatari diplomat told UK media.

The negotiations are complicated by the fact that Israel and Palestine have “zero confidence in each other”, he specified.

Qatar’s main goal is to reach out to the parties, Al-Khulaifi said, adding that his country remained committed to the purpose despite various difficulties.

“If the mediator wants to perform its task in the best way possible as a state, then we need to reach a period of calm. We need to reach a period where we can speak logically to both sides and come up with positive initiatives,” he stressed.

On October 7, Palestinian movement Hamas launched a surprise large-scale attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip. Hamas says the operation was a response to Israel’s relentless attacks on Palestinians, the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Israeli settlers’ violence against Palestinians.
Israel has ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to more than 2,3 million people, cutting off supplies of water, food and fuel.

The escalation of the conflict has resulted in thousands of people killed and injured on both sides.

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