In a bid to bolster a precarious truce between Hamas and Israel, international mediators in Qatar are working relentlessly. The ceasefire, which held for the fifth day, witnessed the exchange of hostages and prisoners between the two conflicting factions. The latest development involved the release of ten Israeli citizens and two Thai nationals by Hamas and the release of thirty Palestinian prisoners by Israel.
US Urges Precision in Israeli Military Operations
The United States has called upon Israel to ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. The White House has stressed the importance of avoiding further displacement should Israel decide to resume its military campaign against Hamas. The US administration is particularly keen on seeing more precision in Israel's military operations in southern Gaza, where the population concentration is the highest.
Mossad and CIA Directors in Qatar
CIA Director William Burns and the head of Israel's Mossad, David Barnea, were in Qatar discussing the possibility of extending the cease-fire and ensuring additional releases. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to visit the region soon, adding weight to the international efforts for peace.
Ceasefire Holds Despite Fire Exchange
Despite a fire exchange in northern Gaza, the ceasefire is holding its ground, allowing humanitarian aid to flow into the region. This has been a much-needed respite for the people in Gaza, who have been living under the stress of Israeli bombardment for weeks. The Gaza health ministry, tasked with collecting casualty data from local hospitals and the Palestinian Red Crescent, has not specified the causes of death or differentiated between civilian and combatant casualties, referring to all as victims of 'Israeli aggression'.
UN Consistency with Gaza Health Ministry
The UN has been consistent in publishing death tolls that align with those provided by the Gaza health ministry, following its own research into medical records. The current situation in Gaza has elicited calls for an extension of the fragile ceasefire, allowing more aid to get through to the beleaguered region.