Mediation efforts are continuing to secure a new Gaza ceasefire and free more hostages held by Hamas despite ongoing Israeli bombardment that is “narrowing the window” for a successful outcome, Qatar’s prime minister said Sunday.
“Our efforts as the state of Qatar along with our partners are continuing. We are not going to give up,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told the Doha Forum, adding that “the continuation of the bombardment is just narrowing this window for us.”
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Israel declared war on Hamas after the militant group killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostages, according to Israeli figures, in an unprecedented attack on October 7.
The Israeli offensive has killed at least 17,700 people in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, many of them women and children.
Qatar was a key mediator in negotiations that resulted in a seven-day truce, which saw scores of Israeli hostages exchanged for Palestinians prisoners and humanitarian aid, until it ended at the start of the month.
“We are going to continue, we are committed to have hostages released, but we are also committed to stop the war,” Qatar’s prime minister said.
But, he added, “we are not seeing the same willingness from both parties.”
Also speaking at the Doha Forum, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the United States is as responsible as Israel for civilian deaths in Gaza.
“For the United States to block a United Nations Security Council resolution, one should hold the Americans responsible” for the deadly violence, he said.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, meanwhile, accused Israel of dragging the region “deeper into the sea of death.”
Addressing the forum, Safadi said: “We are facing a difficult moment, a moment that will take us deeper into the sea of death and destruction, and Israel simply feels it can do that -- it feels unaccountable.”
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