Ismaïl Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau and architect of their electoral victory in 2006, has met with the President of the Red Cross, Mirjana Spoljaric, in Qatar to discuss humanitarian issues related to the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed the meeting in a statement, noting that President Spoljaric also met with Qatari authorities during her visit.
The visit comes as Qatar mediates efforts to obtain the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza. The ICRC emphasized that their teams need to be authorized to visit the hostages in order to ensure their well-being and administer medication.
Haniyeh has also served as Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. The ongoing conflict has resulted in a significant number of casualties on both sides. According to Israeli military estimates, around 240 people were taken hostage by Hamas during their attack on Israeli territory, resulting in approximately 1,200 deaths predominantly among civilians.