Negotiations are ongoing to secure the release of 10 to 15 hostages held by Palestinian Islamist terrorist group Hamas. Qatar is leading mediation efforts between Hamas and Israeli officials over the release of hostages captured when the group rampaged into Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,400 people. The Hostages and Missing Families Forum insists that any move for a ceasefire must include the release of all hostages from Gaza. Since October 7, Israel has escalated its assault on Gaza where 10,569 people have been killed. Hamas officials report that 40% of them are children. The negotiations are coordinated with the United States, and a ceasefire or limitation of the main zone of operations is expected within the next week in return for a release of hostages. US President Joe Biden and G7 foreign ministers have urged for a humanitarian pause in the fighting. The United Nations says Gaza’s health system is close to collapse, battered by air strikes, flooded with patients, and running out of medicines and fuel.