Official Spokesperson for Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Humanitarian Pause in Gaza Starts on Friday Morning

Official Spokesperson for Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Humanitarian Pause in Gaza Starts on Friday Morning

Doha - Media & Communications Dept. - 23 November 2023

Official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Majed bin Mohammed Al Ansari underscored that the humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip would start on Friday morning at 7:00 am Gaza Strip local time.
In a press conference held Thursday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to announce the details of the pause, Dr. Al Ansari said that the communications between Hamas, Israel, and the mediators have concluded, and lists of the names of those who will be released have been handed over. He indicated that the first batch of civilian hostages would be handed over at around 4:00 pm on Friday.
He revealed that around 50 Israeli hostages would be released over four days. The first batch will include 13 persons, including women and children.
The Official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that extensive communications took place within the framework of reaching the form of the executive plan to implement that agreement to ensure the safe return of the hostages to their final destinations.
During the press conference, Dr. Al Ansari said that during the four days, data would be collected regarding the remaining hostages, the possibility of releasing more hostages would be considered, and work on extending the pause.
He expressed the State of Qatar's hope that this pause would contribute to finding a chance to initiate more work within the framework of achieving a permanent truce and peace.
He pointed out that the Red Cross and Palestine Red Crescent Society would be essential parts of the hostage release process. He stressed that once the humanitarian pause entered into force, the aid would start flowing through the Rafah crossing in coordination with the Egyptian side.
Regarding the extent of commitment to implementing the humanitarian pause, the Official Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that the State of Qatar views the issue of commitment to implementing the terms of the humanitarian pause positively and with confidence as it found a high commitment from both parties. He noted that the Qatari side works as an intermediary to transmit messages between the parties to ensure the progress of the agreement positively, but the determinants of the degree of commitment are related to the parties on the ground.
He underscored that the criteria that determined the hostages to be released were based on a purely humanitarian basis. In this context, he pointed out that continuing the talks related to the pause would contribute to releasing all hostages.
Dr. Al Ansari explained that the path of handing over the hostages cannot be revealed now as the most important thing for the Qatari side is to ensure their safety.
He said that the Palestinian prisoners would be released from Israeli prisons within a time frame similar to the release of the hostages, describing the deal as an "exchange deal." The Official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that it had been agreed that there would be a complete ceasefire during the humanitarian truce, expressing his hope that there would be no violations by both parties, which would contribute to a clear atmosphere for the release of the hostages.
He stressed the State of Qatar's commitment to maintaining channels of communication with all parties to ensure that the appropriate environment is created for the safe exit of the hostages, indicating that the primary goal of this agreement is to be an impetus for more pause, leading to stopping this war.