- Written by Natasha Brisky
- BBC News
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that a new agreement will allow the delivery of medicines to Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
This comes after families of some hostages visited Qatar and told mediators that their loved ones needed an important prescription, CBS News reported.
Deliveries have not yet begun, and it is not clear how the medicine will be transported.
Israel believes that about 105 hostages are still alive in Gaza.
An estimated 240 people were captured in Hamas attacks on October 7, but 105 of them were later released by Hamas during a six-day ceasefire at the end of November, and at least 25 people are believed to have died.
Hamas and Israel have expressed their willingness to allow medicines to reach the hostages, CBS News, the BBC's international partner, reported, citing a diplomatic source.
The source adds that the mediators are working with both sides and with international non-governmental organizations to understand the required medicines, their number, and how to deliver them.
According to a statement issued by the Israeli Prime Minister's Office on Friday, the medicine will be delivered within the next few days.
The statement also said that the deal was reached after David Barnea, director of Israel's national intelligence agency, Mossad, contacted Qatar.
A Palestinian official told the BBC that discussions had taken place about bringing medical aid into Gaza, part of which would cover “the needs of the Israeli hostages in Gaza.”
In a letter sent to the Israeli Defense Cabinet after the ceasefire ended last year, the hostage family group said it had “strong intelligence information about the presence of kidnappers whose condition has deteriorated and who are now in grave danger.”
They said that at least a third of the hostages had underlying illnesses and needed regular medical treatment, and it was dangerous to remain without such treatment.
Since the October 7 attacks, more than 23,350 people have been killed in Gaza – most of them children and women – during retaliatory military operations launched by Israel, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.
Israel says about 1,300 people, most of them civilians, were killed in the Hamas attack.
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