Gaza hostages’ families launch four-day march to demand their freedom

28 February 2024, 11:24

Gaza march
Israel Palestinians. Picture: PA

The move comes as negotiations continue in Qatar towards a possible ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

The families of hostages held in Gaza and their supporters are launching a four-day march from southern Israel to Jerusalem to demand their loved ones’ freedom.

The march comes as negotiations are under way in Qatar to bring about a deal between Hamas and Israel that would lead to a ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages.

US President Joe Biden has said such a deal was at hand, but officials from Israel and Hamas were sceptical over his optimism.

Israel-Hamas war in Gaza Strip
(PA Graphics)

Negotiators from the US, Egypt and Qatar are working on a framework deal under which Hamas would free some of the dozens of hostages it holds, in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners and a six-week halt in fighting.

During the temporary pause, negotiations would continue over the release of the remaining hostages.

The war has unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and sparked global concern over the situation in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost town along the border with Egypt, where 1.4 million Palestinians have sought safety from Israel’s daily bombardments.

Israel Palestinians
The march began at the site where hundreds of revellers at the Nova music festival were killed or captured by Hamas (AP)

Nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been killed after almost five months of Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip, according to the health ministry, which does not distinguish in its count between fighters and non-combatants.

Israel says it has killed 10,000 militants, without providing evidence.

The war began after Hamas-led militants stormed across southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 250 others hostage.

By Press Association

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