DUBAI, December 3. /TASS/. Qatar continues its mediatory efforts to resume the humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, Qatari Foreign Ministry Spokesman Majed bin Muhammad al-Ansari said.
"Undoubtedly, these were the most difficult talks Qatar has ever conducted as a mediator. But these efforts will continue," he said in an interview with the Al Jazeera television channel. "Contacts are maintained nonstop. Groups continue working via the headquarters in Doha, via mediators to guarantee that channels of communication remain open."
"Doha is holding consultations with international and regional partners to see to it that the parties get back to the negotiating table," he added.
On November 22, Hamas announced an agreement with Israel, which was brokered by Egypt and Qatar, on a four-day humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip, which took effect at 7:00 a.m. local time (5:00 a.m. GMT) on November 24. The deal stipulated the release of Israeli women and children being held hostage in Gaza in exchange for the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons.
Israel said it was ready to extend the truce for an additional day in exchange for the release of ten more hostages, vowing to free 30 Palestinian prisoners every time. However, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on the morning of December 1 that Hamas had violated the truce in Gaza and opened fire on Israeli territory, thus prompting the IDF to resume combat operations in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian authorities placed the blame for the resumed hostilities on the United States.