JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel has reached an agreement with Qatar authorizing the delivery of medicine to hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, the Israeli prime minister’s office said on Friday.
The drugs will be distributed to the hostages “in the coming days,” the office said in a statement.
More than 100 hostages remain in Gaza following the Oct. 7 rampage by Hamas militants that killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostage, according to an Israeli count. Israel has since ravaged the Palestinian enclave as part of a campaign to eliminate Hamas.
Under a deal brokered by Qatar and the United States that allowed a brief truce in November, Hamas released nearly half of the hostages in exchange for Israel’s release of dozens of Palestinian detainees, as well as as well as an increase in humanitarian aid shipments to Gaza.
The families of the hostages, many of whom are elderly and suffer from chronic illnesses requiring daily medication, have asked the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit their loved ones to deliver medication and inspect their condition. The Red Cross said access was denied by Hamas.
(Reporting by Emily Rose; editing by Andrew Heavens and Frances Kerry)
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