In collaboration with Qatar, France is seeking evidence of medicine delivery to Israeli captives in Gaza following a recent shipment.
France is working with Qatar and other countries in the region “to get all elements of proof to know whether the medicines have been received” by captives in Gaza, a French official confirmed.
This development comes weeks after a medicine shipment bound for the Israeli captives and aid for Palestinians arrived in Gaza on January 18, marking the first agreement between Hamas and Israel since a ceasefire in November.
Under the mediated deal by Qatar and France, the agreement outlined the provision of a three-month supply of medication for 45 captives with chronic illnesses, along with other essential medicines and vitamins.
While the medications successfully entered Gaza, the intricate details of their transfer to the captives, mediated by Qatar, remain undisclosed.
A member of French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne’s entourage emphasised on Monday the urgency of receiving verifiable proof that the medicines have reached them, laying the responsibility on Hamas and maintaining regular communication with Qatari authorities.
“We know that the medications effectively entered into Gaza,” the official told The Times of Israel, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“The modalities of their transfer to the hostages were dealt with under Qatar’s mediation. We now expect to receive verifiable proof that the medications have reached their beneficiaries.”
Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz urged France to reportedly “put pressure” on Qatar for evidence of medicine delivery to the captives. Sejourne responded by confirming that France was actively working to obtain the necessary evidence.
Sejourne warned of “serious consequences” if it is discovered that the medications were not delivered as promised, Israeli media claimed, citing a source who was at the meeting.
The International Committee of the Red Cross was excluded from the deal and has not been able to verify if the medicines were reached. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the ICRC would not take part in the agreement and that Doha would guarantee the delivery of those medications.
Regarding the aid intended for Palestinians in Gaza that was part of the France and Qatar brokered deal, Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud, reporting from Rafah at the time, said the humanitarian aid trucks allowed into southern Gaza “were not enough to meet people’s desperate needs.”
“It is incredibly difficult because the amount of humanitarian relief coming in is so little compared to the needs of more than 1.9 million displaced Palestinians,” the reporter said, adding that the situation is even worse in the north where “there is intense famine that is getting more dire each day.”
Negligent of a genocide ICJ case against the occupation, Netanyahu reaffirmed Israel’s determination to continue its relentless military killing machine – which began on October 7 and has so far killed at least 27,478 people and wounded 66,835 others in Gaza — until Hamas is completely defeated.