Qatar says efforts to renew Israel-Hamas truce 'continuing'
Mediation efforts are continuing to secure a new Gaza ceasefire and free more hostages held by Hamas despite ongoing Israeli bombardment that is "narrowing the window" for a successful outcome, Qatar's prime minister said Sunday.
"Our efforts as the state of Qatar along with our partners are continuing. We are not going to give up," Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told the Doha Forum, adding that "the continuation of the bombardment is just narrowing this window for us."
Israel declared war on Hamas after the militant group killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostages, according to Israeli figures, in an unprecedented attack on Oct. 7.
The Israeli offensive has killed at least 17,700 people in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, many of them women and children.
Qatar was a key mediator in negotiations that resulted in a seven-day truce, which saw scores of Israeli hostages exchanged for Palestinians prisoners and humanitarian aid, until it ended at the start of the month.
"We are going to continue, we are committed to have hostages released, but we are also committed to stop the war," Qatar's prime minister said.
But, he added, "we are not seeing the same willingness from both parties."
Addressing the Doha Forum earlier, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the Security Council was "paralysed by geostrategic divisions" that were undermining solutions to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The body's "authority and credibility were severely undermined" by its delayed response to the war, he said two days after a U.S. veto prevented a resolution calling for a Gaza ceasefire.
"I reiterated my appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared," he told the forum.