The humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli occupation was tested on the fifth day, as both sides exchanged prisoners and accused each other of violating the terms of the ceasefire.
On Tuesday, the Israeli authorities released 30 Palestinian women and minors, who were held in Israeli prisons, in exchange for 10 detainees held by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Gaza. The swap was mediated by Egypt and Qatar, who have been leading the efforts to end the war on Gaza and achieve a lasting calm.
However, the calm was disrupted by clashes and shootings in several areas of Gaza, where four Palestinians were injured by Israeli occupation forces’ bullets, according to the Palestinian News Agency. The agency reported that the occupation forces fired live bullets at the Palestinians while they were trying to return to their homes to inspect them, in the Al-Nasr and Sheikh Radwan neighbourhoods. They were transferred to the Baptist Hospital, where the condition of one of them was described as serious.
The Israeli occupation army also reported that two of its soldiers were injured in an explosive device explosion in northern Gaza. The army claimed that “three explosive devices were activated near our forces, wounding several soldiers.”
The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, issued a statement via Telegram, saying that “as a result of a clear violation by the enemy of the truce agreement, field friction occurred in northern Gaza, and our mujahideen dealt with this violation.” The movement added: “It is committed to the truce as long as the enemy is committed to it,” and called on the mediators to pressure the occupation to adhere to all the truce terms.
The occupation army also admitted that 1,000 of its officers and soldiers were injured during the battles, including more than 200 seriously. Israeli media said that the occupation army announced the names of three soldiers killed on October 7, indicating that their bodies are still being held by Hamas.
In terms of calm efforts, Israeli media reported that the head of the Israeli Mossad, Dedi Barnea, went to the Qatari capital, Doha, on Tuesday, to participate in a meeting with the Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Bill Burns, and the Qatari Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, regarding the negotiations mediated by Qatar and Egypt to stop the war on Gaza.
Meanwhile, Egyptian sources confirmed to Daily News Egypt that the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service (GIS) Abbas Kamel is participating in the talks in Doha.
In the same context, the Palestinian factions expressed, in a joint statement on Tuesday, their appreciation for the Egyptian and Qatari roles, calling for a comprehensive cessation of the war on Gaza. The factions appealed to “the brothers in Egypt to receive a larger number of wounded people who need treatment.”
On the humanitarian level, Ismail Al-Thawabta, director of the Government Information Office in the Gaza Strip, said that the Strip needs a thousand aid trucks daily to recover, and that for 50 days not a single drop of fuel has entered Gaza City and the northern Strip.
“The failure of fuel to enter Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip threatens a major disaster. Al-Shifa Medical Complex needs 12,000 litres of fuel daily. We need hundreds of fuel trucks over weeks,” he said.
Al-Thawabta added that the truce revealed the massive extent of destruction, especially in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip. He pointed out that the health sector has completely collapsed, and there is a need for civil defence equipment and mechanisms and medical devices.
For his part, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf Al-Qudra, said that only 3 hospitals are operating in the northern Gaza Strip, indicating that hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip are unable to deal with urgent needs.
Al-Qudra demanded that the wounded be sent outside the Gaza Strip to receive the necessary medical care. “The damage to the health sector as a result of the occupation’s bombing has reached millions of dollars. The medical aid we have received over the past few days is very limited. We demand pressure on the occupation to bring medical aid into the northern Gaza Strip. We need special breathing medications for premature babies.”