The Islamist Hamas has made one demand for the release of the hostages: Further abductees should only be released if Israel allows fuel to be delivered to the Gaza Strip.
The radical Islamic group Hamas only wants to release more hostages if Israel allows fuel and medicine to be delivered to the Gaza Strip. “We released four (hostages) unconditionally for humanitarian reasons,” Osama Hamdan, a senior member of Hamas’ political bureau, told the German Press Agency on Tuesday in Beirut. There will only be further releases if the international community puts pressure on Israel so that fuel and medicine can be delivered.
The suffering civilian population in the Gaza Strip urgently needs fuel, also to ensure supplies of water and electricity. “Without fuel there will be no water, no functioning hospitals and bakeries,” warned the UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA. “Without fuel there will be no humanitarian aid.”
Israel, on the other hand, fears, according to the responsible Cogat authority, that Hamas will use fuel to “light up its terror tunnels, fire rockets and use it for their own homes” instead of for the civilian population.
“Right to humanitarian assistance”
The people of Gaza have the right to humanitarian assistance, Hamdan said, as well as the right to hospital treatment when they face daily Israeli attacks. “Israel must stop its attacks on our people so that we can ensure the release of people who have been taken,” said Hamdan, who knows details from the release of four hostages so far.
Hamas, which rules in the Gaza Strip, took more than 200 hostages in its terrorist attack on Israeli communities on October 7th. Four of them have been released so far, including two Israeli women aged 79 and 85 on Monday. Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the US and the EU and took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
The situation of the approximately 2.2 million people in the densely populated coastal strip is still very bad. According to the UN, 600,000 people have been displaced by Israel’s attacks and are staying in 150 emergency shelters, most of which are completely overcrowded. At least 35 UN employees have been killed since the Gaza war began a good two weeks ago.
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