According to sources at the Qatari capital, Doha, the negotiations mediated by Qatar between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) with the aim of calming the situation in Gaza continued on Saturday, despite Israel’s escalation of its attacks on the Strip.
The talks didn’t witness a collapse, but were taking place at a much slower pace than they were before the escalation that began yesterday evening, Friday.
Communications between besieged Gaza residents and the outside world were almost cut off on Saturday, while Israeli planes dropped more bombs coinciding with a ground attack.
Qatar has been conducting diplomatic efforts behind the scenes for more than three weeks, speaking with Hamas and Israeli officials to push for peace and the release of the hostages.
Her mediation led to the release of two American hostages, a mother and daughter, and two elderly Israeli women.
Israel says that 1,400 people, most of them civilians, were killed during the attack carried out by Hamas on the seventh of this month, and 224 people were captured, many of whom have foreign passports from 25 different countries.
Over the past three weeks, Israel has bombed and attacked the Gaza Strip more intensely than ever before, and Palestinian health authorities say that the Israeli attacks led to the death of 7,650 Palestinians in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
Qatar has a direct line of communication with Hamas, which has a political office in Doha.
Qatari envoys previously helped mediate truces between Hamas and Israel.