Qatari Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari has said that “lines of communication” will remain open to reinstate a truce.
Qatar will continue with mediation efforts despite Israel resuming its bombing of Gaza, the spokesman for Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.
Speaking in an interview with Al Jazeera, Majed Al-Ansari said that Qatari teams are still working “to ensure that lines of communication remain open” between all parties to the conflict, despite the process being “one of the most difficult negotiations that the Qatari mediation mechanism has gone through”.
Israel resumed its assault on Gaza on Friday, when a Qatari-Egyptian brokered ceasefire expired. More than 700 Palestinians have been killed since then, the Director General of the Government Media Office in Gaza has said.
Al-Ansari said the renewed Israeli bombardment has made the delivery of aid difficult, particularly to the north of the Gaza Strip.
Aid and humanitarian agencies, such as the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), have said that in some Palestinian areas aid distribution has now reached a standstill.
In a December 3 flash update, UN OCHA said that limited aid distribution to Gaza via Egypt’s Rafah border took place, with mostly water and flour being delivered.
However, in Khan Younis, “the Middle Area was largely disconnected from the south, following Israeli forces’ prevention of movement, including of humanitarian supplies,” UN OCHA said.
“Access to areas north of Wadi Gaza from the south came to a halt following the resumption of hostilities on 1 December,” the update added.
On Saturday, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani had already expressed to US Vice President Kamala Harris that Qatari mediation efforts would continue.
Sheikh Tamim stressed that Qatar, in cooperation with its partners, is continuing efforts to restore calm to the Occupied Palestinian territories.
The Amir stressed the need to reinstate a ceasefire, so as not to “hinder the mediation efforts and further exacerbate the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip”.
More than 20,000 people people have been killed in Gaza by Israel’s brutal assault, including over 8,000 children, according to health authorities in the territory.
Further estimates from the UN OCHA indicate that Israeli aggression has displaced at least 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza.