Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Dr Majed bin Mohamed al-Ansari called on the international community to pressure the Israeli and Palestinian sides to accept US President Joe Biden's internationally-backed proposal to end the war in the Gaza Strip, and reach a prisoner exchange deal between the two sides.

Delivering the MoFA's weekly media briefing, Dr al-Ansari said that military solutions do not lead to results, stressing the need for both parties to negotiate, and for an urgent humanitarian aid access.

He added that the Qatar-Egypt-US sponsored negotiations round between Hamas and the Israeli occupation forces is closely linked to the principles set by President Biden in his last speech. He added that both sides now have clear ideas on the table to negotiate.

He said that an Israeli proposal reflecting the principles as stated by President Biden was conveyed to Hamas, and the document now includes positions closer than before to the positions of the two sides. He noted that all sides were doing their best to put the final touches to reach an agreement.

Dr al-Ansari said Qatar had been pressing on unwavering contacts with all parties since the beginning of this round of negotiations. Yet, he said it was difficult to put a timeframe for these negotiations, because they are linked to many on-the-ground situations, and that what can be done is to always emphasise and focus on the need to reach an immediate ceasefire deal.

The issue now is related to the existence of clear positions from both parties on President Biden's principles and the ideas on the table, he added.

To date, the Israeli aggression has left over 36,000 martyrs in the Gaza Strip and over 82,000 wounded, while over one million displaced Palestinians are facing a new displacement wave as they are directly targeted, he said.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) announced that it is unable to provide aid, after being stopped at the Rafah crossing by the occupation. He stressed that humanitarian aid delivery should not be linked to any political reason.

Commenting on the humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip, he said it is worsening every day and has not reached an end — a fact that must provide a sufficient reason for the international community and the two conflicting parties to realise that reaching an agreement is no longer linked to narrow political calculations, but to this catastrophic humanitarian situation in the enclave, the worsening security and political repercussions in Israel, the attacks in northern Israel, and the confrontations in northern and central Gaza, which cast their shadows on the situation on the ground.

Dr al-Ansari said the ongoing negotiations are held in Cairo and Doha, or via means of communication, until both parties reach a language of agreement to move to direct meetings at the highest levels.

Since the first day of this mediation and all the mediations it has undertaken, Qatar has engaged in a positive and sincere manner with the aim of reaching an end to human suffering and an end to the crisis, he added.

When Qatar announced earlier it was re-evaluating its role as a mediator, it was primarily linked to the seriousness of the parties in reaching a solution to this crisis and the effectiveness of the Qatari role, he added, noting Qatar's ongoing commitment to mediation efforts as long as there is a possibility to end the crisis and suffering of civilians, return Palestinians to their homes, reconstruct Gaza and achieve the demands of the Palestinian people.

Meanwhile, Dr. al-Ansari highlighted the MoFA's efforts including hosting the meeting of the 160th Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Sunday, under the chairmanship of HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani. On the sidelines of this meeting and within the framework of Qatar's presidency of the current session, two joint ministerial meetings will be held between the GCC and the sisterly Republic of Yemen and the sisterly Republic of Turkiye, respectively.

He also spoke about the Qatar-Egypt-US joint statement following President Biden outlined the basic principles for reaching a ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip, and about the virtual meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt to discuss developments in the mediation efforts led by Qatar, Egypt, and the US.

He also highlighted HE the prime minister's contacts with Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Ali Bagheri Kani, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and HE Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom David Cameron.

Besides, he spoke about the political consultation round between Qatar and the Republic of Turkmenistan, the MoFA's engagement in the Syria donors conference in Brussels and Qatar's pledge of $75 mn in support of humanitarian efforts for the brotherly Syrian people, and in the 10th China-Arab Cooperation Forum and holding a number of meetings with participating ministers and officials.
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