Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has discussed the release of civilian hostages with Hamas’s political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh via phone call. The talks are part of Turkey’s efforts to de-escalate tensions amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza due to Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment and blockade.
Fidan and Haniyye discussed the latest developments in Palestine and the possibility of civilian release. He also had phone calls with his Russian, Omani, and Pakistani counterparts, discussing developments in Israel and Palestine, Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip, and the humanitarian situation. The calls were conducted on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on media communication.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been actively involved in the ongoing conflict in Gaza since the outbreak of the conflict on October 7. He has held phone calls and visited regional actors, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Palestine’s foreign minister, Iran’s foreign minister, the U.S. secretary of state, and top European diplomats. Turkey is a vocal opponent of Israel’s attacks on civilians in the Gaza Strip and calls for a two-state solution to permanently end the conflict.
The latest conflict began on October 7 when Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a surprise attack on Israel. The Devastating Impact of Israeli Airstrikes on Gaza, with 2,750 Lives Lost, Including 750 Innocent Children. In Israel, 1,300 have been killed. The issue of civilians being held by Hamas has drawn interest, with Turkish officials suggesting that they may mediate an exchange of detainees between Israel and the Palestinian group.