Doha, 4 December 2023(TDI): Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, received a phone call from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday regarding the Gaza crisis.
During the call, they discussed recent developments in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as peaceful resolution and ceasefire possibilities.
Additionally, Qatar and its mediation partners are focused on reestablishing calm in the Gaza strip, highlighting the complicated mediation efforts and the humanitarian disaster caused by prolonged bombing after the ceasefire ends.
According to Thailand’s foreign affairs ministry, these mediation efforts resulted in the release of six Thai nationals held captive by Hamas in Gaza, who are scheduled to return home this afternoon.
The group has been recovering in Israel since Thai officials mediated their release as part of a seven-day cease-fire, but at least nine Thais remain in captivity in Gaza.
Humanitarian Challenges in Gaza
The Gaza Ministry of Health reported that Israeli attacks killed 316 people and injured 664 more in the 24 hours between the afternoons of December 2 and December 3.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) also stated in its most recent evaluation that aid trucks carrying humanitarian goods arrived from Egypt on December 3, though their quantity and items were unreported.
As per the reports, due to overpopulation, transmissible diseases such as diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, skin infections, and lice have increased significantly in UN shelters in southern Gaza.
Additionally, Gaza’s hospital bed capacity has decreased from 3,500 before the conflict to 1,400, with only one operational hospital capable of complex surgery or treating trauma patients.
UNWRA reported on December 3 that Rafah governorate in Gaza received minimal relief shipments of wheat and water, while Khan Younis governorate’s assistance deliveries have largely ceased due to the severity of the fighting.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces’ restrictions on the accessibility of aid, including humanitarian goods, have halted access to territories north of Wadi Gaza from the south, as the Middle Area was cut off from the south following the start of hostilities on December 1st.
As a result of these ongoing situations, the Prime Minister stated that the State of Qatar condemns all kinds of targeting of civilians and that killing civilians, particularly women and children, and enforcing collective punishment policies are unacceptable under any circumstances.
The Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, also emphasized the importance of providing humanitarian avenues to ensure that help and aid reach the Palestinian people who have been displaced by the bombardment.