NSA Sullivan, Qatar PM Discuss Gaza Hostage Release


The United States affirmed this dialogue in an official statement, indicating ongoing communication between Sullivan and Al Thani….reports Asian Lite News

White House National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, and Qatari Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, convened on Tuesday to explore prospects for a ceasefire in Gaza, coupled with the release of hostages.

The United States affirmed this dialogue in an official statement, indicating ongoing communication between Sullivan and Al Thani.

Meanwhile, senior Hamas leader Osama Hamaden has said that the outfit will release the remaining 134 hostages only when the permanent ceasefire is in place and Israelis completely withdraw from Gaza.

Hamadan in a statement in Beirut on Tuesday said that in the past two days the organisation had clearly presented this view before the Qatari and Egyptian mediators.

He said that Hamas had reaffirmed its position that a permanent ceasefire was possible only after a full pull out of the IDF from Gaza Strip and return of displaced Palestinian families to their homes.

The tough position taken by Hamas has almost derailed the US President Joe Biden’s optimism that a temporary six week ceasefire would be reached before March 10 – the commencement of the Holy month of Ramadan.

However, the US state secretary Antony Blinken is in continuous discussions with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Al -Thani and the Egyptian mediator Major General Abbas Kalam. The US leader is also in communication with Israeli minister, Benny Gantz who is on a visit to the US.

Highly placed sources in the Israel defence ministry told IANS that if the Hamas backs out of truce talks then Israel will have to go for an all-out attack to release and rescue its hostages. It may be noted that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been restrained from an all-out ground invasion in Rafah border after an appeal from mediators, including the US ,Qatar and Egypt.

US Airdrops More Aid into Gaza

Amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, the US for the second time, airdropped humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, The New York Times reported.

US Air Force cargo planes, in a joint operation with the Jordanian Air Force dropped 36,800 ready-to-eat meals “to provide essential relief to civilians affected by the ongoing conflict,” according to US Central Command statement.

In a statement, US Central Command said that army troops trained in aerial delivery were part of the airdrop. The US forces further said that they were planning more such missions. However, the Pentagon said on Tuesday that the US did not intend to send its troops into Gaza to strengthen the aid distribution process.

While addressing a news conference, Pentagon spokesperson Major General Patrick Ryder said, “At this time, there are no plans to put U.S. forces on the ground in Gaza,” The New York Times reported.

The US’ operation on Tuesday comes days after the first round of airdrops on Saturday. US airdropped the first round of humanitarian aid into Gaza, two days after more than 100 Palestinians were killed as Israeli forces opened fire around a convoy of aid trucks in northern Gaza. Doctors at Gaza hospitals said the majority of casualties were from gunfire.

The Israeli military said the majority of the victims were trampled as they attempted to take control of the cargo. Israeli officials, however, admitted that troops had fired on some people who they said had threatened them, according to The New York Times report.

Following the convoy casualties in Gaza, US President Joe Biden said the US would find new ways to provide aid to Palestinians in desperate need due to Israel’s counter-offensive against Hamas, which began after the terrorist group’s attack on October 7.

On Sunday, US Vice President Kamala Harris called for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza, which she stressed must last for at least the next six weeks. Terming the conditions in Gaza as “inhumane,” Harris said that people in the region were “starving.”

Harris, who was in Alabama’s Selma, to commemorate the 59th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, said, “The threat of Hamas poses to the people of Israel must be eliminated. And given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks, which is what is currently on the table.”

The US Vice President noted that the ceasefire will allow the release of hostages and aid will enter Gaza. She stressed that Hamas needs to agree to that deal. (ANI)

ALSO READ: US Bill demanding ByteDance to divest TikTok introduced

[mc4wp_form id=""]