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Qatar claims Hamas 'confirmed' receiving medicines intended for hostages and that distribution has begun

Medication intended for Israeli hostages found in Gaza's Nasser Hospital, February 18, 2024 (Photo: IDF)

Without providing proof or further details, Qatar announced on Tuesday that Hamas had “confirmed” receiving medications earmarked for the Israeli hostages, which entered the Gaza Strip via Qatar and Egypt more than a month ago.

“The State of Qatar has received confirmation from the Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] regarding the receipt of a shipment of medicines and the commencement of their delivery to beneficiaries among the hostages in the Gaza Strip, in implementation of an agreement between Hamas and Israel, mediated by Qatar in cooperation with France last month,” read the statement from Qatari Foreign Ministry Spokesman Majed al-Ansari.

The statement did not mention why the alleged “confirmation” was only received more than a month after the medicines were delivered to the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Prime Minister's Office responded to the Qatari statement with the following statement: "The Qatari announcement is the direct result of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's insistence on receiving proof that the medicines have reached our hostages. Israel will evaluate the credibility of the report and continue to act for the well-being of our hostages."

There has been no independent confirmation, however, of the distribution of medicines to the hostages.

According to the deal brokered by Qatar in January, the Israeli hostages would receive vital medication in exchange for an increase in humanitarian aid to Gaza. While aid to Gaza has continued to flow, there has been no official confirmation as to whether the hostages being held in Gaza have received any of the medicines earmarked for them.

An Arab diplomat familiar with the negotiations told the Times of Israel that proof of delivery to the hostages of the medicines had not been part of the brokered deal between Israel and Hamas and is therefore “unlikely to come.”

Former hostages Fernando Simon Marman (60), and Norberto Luis Har (70), two Israeli-Argentinian citizens who were abducted on Oct.7 by Hamas terrorists and released last week in a daring raid deep inside Khan Younis, said that during their captivity with a Gazan family, they were given some form of medication while being compelled to prepare meals despite being deprived of food themselves.

Israeli doctors, however, estimated they did not receive the specific medicine they needed and that it is unlikely any of the hostages received the medicines destined for them.

Last week, IDF soldiers discovered boxes of medicine in Nasser Hospital intended for Israeli hostages, Israel Defense Forces stated on Sunday. The boxes had the names of Israeli hostages written on them, however, the packages were closed and apparently had not been transferred to the hostages.

The commander of the Egoz unit, Lt.-Col. M. said that upon arriving at the Nasser Hospital compound in Khan Younis, “We found enemies, as well as ammunition and medicine for the hostages here – which did not reach them, and remained here completely packed.”

It was later revealed that families of the hostages had also managed to send medications into Gaza in a separate private effort initiated by at least two other families from Kibbutz Nir Oz.

The IDF is investigating whether the medications found at Nasser Hospital came from the shipments organized by the families, or if any of them were sent as part of the release deal brokered by Qatar.  

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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