As Fighting Goes On In Gaza, Qatar May Quit Attempts To Mediate Conflict.

Photo: NASA. The Gaza Strip has been the scene of savage warfare since October 7th last year.
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Qatar is rethinking its role as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, its prime minister said Wednesday during a press conference with his Turkish counterpart in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said, without elaborating, that its mediation had been abused.

“At this point right now, we are reevaluating our role as mediators and how the parties are engaged with this mediation,” he said.

Al Thani said there were “limits” to what Qatar can do as a mediator, though top leaders of Hamas live in exile in the country.

Qatar, Egypt and the United States have been involved in talks to secure a halt in fighting that would include the release of some hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza and the freeing of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Israel’s military said Thursday its forces carried out airstrikes throughout the Gaza Strip targeting Hamas fighters and infrastructure, as well as airstrikes that killed two Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon.

The Lebanon strikes were the latest in cross-border fighting between Israel and Hezbollah that has raised concerns about the spread of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Agence France-Presse cited Hezbollah also saying two of its fighters were killed in an Israeli strike in Kfar Kila.

Israel said 14 of its soldiers were injured Wednesday in a Hezbollah attack on northern Israel.

Palestinian UN membership

The U.N. Security Council is preparing to vote on a resolution recommending full member status for the Palestinian Authority.

If the Security Council recommends the Palestinian Authority’s application, the U.N. General Assembly can approve it with a two-thirds majority vote.

But the measure’s fate at the Security Council is unclear, with the United States holding one of the council’s veto-holding positions.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Wednesday during a visit to South Korea that the United States does not see the resolution as part of the path to achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Gaza is on the brink of famine, numerous agencies have reported, but the U.S. and Israel say access to aid has improved this month. Food trucks entered Gaza’s Ashdod Port for the first time since Israel approved its opening for aid shipments, the Israeli military said Wednesday.

The Health Ministry in Gaza says Israeli military actions have killed nearly 34,000 Palestinians since the war began. The ministry says two-thirds of those killed are women and children.

Israel launched its offensive in response to the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel that killed about 1,200 people, according to Israeli figures. Militants also took about 250 people hostage. Israel says about 130 hostages remain in captivity, but one-quarter of them are dead. Hamas has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., U.K., EU and others.

Source: VOA and news agencies.

 

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