Qatar’s involvement as a mediator began almost immediately after the October 7 attacks, reports said.
In a bid to secure the release of more than 199 hostages in Gaza, Qatar has been called to play a pivotal role.
Known for its past successes in mediating the release of hostages worldwide, including in the recent being the Iran-US prisoner swap, Qatar is now applying its diplomatic expertise to Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza.
Its involvement began almost immediately after the October 7 attacks.
Most recently, Qatar facilitated the repatriation of four Ukrainian children at Ukraine’s request and played a crucial role in freeing American hostages in Africa, including a nun and an aid worker.
Currently, the Gulf nation is brokering discussions between Hamas, who is reportedly holding the hostages, and officials from the United States. The hostages come from more than 30 countries, according to reports.
On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking at a press briefing in Doha expressed the joint commitment of both nations to work towards securing the release of the hostages.
According to a high-ranking Israeli military official, discussions between Qatar and the US have raised the possibility of Hamas releasing around 50 dual nationals as a separate arrangement, distinct from a broader agreement.
Meanwhile, Hamas released a video last week purportedly showing the release of an Israeli woman and two children. The woman, Avital Aladjem, informed Israeli news outlets that she had entered Gaza, but her captors allowed her to leave at the border without providing a reason.
In talks with Qatar, a Western official said that Hamas denied instructing its gunmen to abduct women and children, attributing some of the kidnappings to criminals who exploited breaches in border fencing. Hamas also indicated to negotiators that they do not hold all of the prisoners, according to reports.
Separately, Hamas last week confirmed it has been in talks with Qatar, Egypt and Turkiye since the beginning of the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza as part of mediation efforts, Al Araby TV reported.
A source close to Hamas separately told The New Arab last week that Doha “suggested implementing an urgent swap agreement between Hamas and Israel” aimed at releasing Israeli elderly women captured by Hamas.
In turn, Israel would release all Palestinian women from its jails.
Qatar’s foreign ministry confirmed to Reuters last week that it is involved in mediation talks that include a potential prisoner swap.
On Tuesday evening, a single Israeli strike killed more than 500 people at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, turning a refuge for displaced Palestinians into a massacre site.
The death toll was by far the highest of any single attack in Gaza since 2008, authorities confirmed.
Over 12 days, Israeli occupation forces have killed over 3,300 Palestinians, including more than 1,000 children.