112 more Palestinians killed in fresh Israeli airstrikes on Gaza


Qatar claims Hamas has given ‘initial’ support to a hostage-prisoner exchange deal

At least 112 Palestinians were killed and 148 injured in the Israeli bombing in Gaza in the last 24 hours, the health ministry in Gaza said in a statement on Friday. 

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have left 27,131 Palestinians dead and 66,287 wounded since October 7, the ministry said.

As fighting in Gaza raged with scores reported killed overnight, mediator Qatar said Hamas had given its “initial” support to a hostage-prisoner exchange deal that would pause the conflict in the besieged enclave.

After a truce proposal agreed with Israeli negotiators was presented to Hamas a day earlier, Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesman Majed al-Ansari said there were hopes of “good news” about a fresh pause to the fighting “in the next couple of weeks”.

Ansari said a truce plan thrashed out with Israeli negotiators by Egyptian, Qatari and US mediators in Paris earlier this week had received a “positive” initial response from Hamas.

“That proposal has been approved by the Israeli side and now we have an initial positive confirmation from the Hamas side,” he said.

But a source close to Hamas said: “There is no agreement on the framework of the agreement yet — the factions have important observations — and the Qatari statement is rushed and not true.”

A Hamas source said the group had been presented with a three-stage plan which would start with an initial six-week halt to the fighting that would see more aid deliveries into Gaza.

The pause would also see the release of “women, children and sick men over 60” among the Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israel, the source said, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.

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