Qatar’s PM has warned that the Gaza war risks radicalising an entire generation in the Middle East and that the prospect of another truce agreement between Israel and Hamas is dwindling despite Qatari efforts.
Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has expressed “deep disappointment” with the involved parties in the Israeli war on Gaza for failing to continue the talks on a ceasefire.
“We feel deeply disappointed that the parties didn’t give [further talks on ceasefire] a chance,” Sheikh Mohammed said during a panel discussion named “What Now for the Middle East?” during this year’s Doha Forum on Sunday.
“The region has offered several initiatives to Israel to achieve regional peace. But unfortunately, the Israeli side was not serious about this,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“Every time Israel destroys the Gaza Strip, other parties carry the high costs of rebuilding it. Israel does not spend anything on rebuilding the destruction it has created,” he said.
“Why are the members of the international community trying to address the issue of who governs Gaza after the war? Who gave us the right to discuss this issue without involving the Palestinians?” the Qatari prime minister stated on Sunday.
Qatar had played a crucial role in mediating a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel, which began on November 24 and was renewed twice before ending on December 1, lasting a total of seven days.
Despite Qatar’s crucial role in the Israeli war on Gaza, Israeli officials have, on multiple occasions, openly stated their intention to carry out targeted killings of Hamas officials abroad, including on the Gulf nation’s soil.
Recent of which was the chief of Israel’s domestic security agency Shin Bet, Ronen Bar, who said “The cabinet has set us a goal, in street talk, to eliminate Hamas. This is our Munich. We will do this everywhere, in Gaza, in the West Bank, in Lebanon, in Turkey, in Qatar. It will take a few years but we will be there to do it,” in a recording aired by Israel’s public broadcaster Kan last Sunday.
Qatar does not have official ties with Israel and has repeatedly reaffirmed its stance against normalising diplomatic relations with the occupation, unlike other Gulf Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Doha has also been hosting Hamas’ political office since 2012, following a request from Washington to establish channels of communication.
Qatar insists the Doha-based Hamas office serves as an establishment dedicated to peace efforts.
“Unfortunately, we’ve been taking a lot of heat. Yet, as his highness Sheikh Tamim said to all foreign guests, whatever heat I’m taking, if it’s gonna save lives, I will take it,” Sheikh Mohammed said during the panel discussion on Sunday.
Palestine takes centre stage
The Palestinian issue heavily echoed in the halls of Sheraton as high officials called out the atrocities and genocide committed by Israel, which has been vigorously violating international law since it launched a war on Gaza on October 7.
“We are seeing a systematic effort to empty Gaza,” Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi said during the same Doha Forum panel discussion.
“Israel challenges the world, violates international law, and commits war crimes,” he added.
Adding to the point on Israel’s war crimes, Palestine’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said: “What can we do to stop this aggression? People in Gaza are not only being killed but are also being starved.
“Israel, as an occupying force, is responsible for providing Gaza with electricity and water. Instead, it has cut it off completely, even from hospitals. These actions are criminal under international law. Israel must be held accountable,” Shtayyeh stated.
On the topic of accountability, the Palestinian official called for imposing sanctions on Israel.
“Sanctions should be placed on Israel […] and America should be held to account for supporting it,” he said.
The US House passed a Republican-pushed bill on November 3 to provide Israel with $14.5 billion in aid to bolster Israel’s military capabilities and for self-defence.
The bill included $4 billion to boost Israel’s Iron Dome, David’s Sling missile defence systems as well as military equipment transferred from US stocks, Al Jazeera reported.
The US already provides Israel with a yearly $3.8 billion in military assistance, totalling over $124 billion since Israel was established.
The Pentagon continues to provide weapons shipments almost on a near-daily basis to Israel, Pentagon deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters. “We are not putting any limits on how Israel uses weapons,” Singh said during a press briefing on October 30.
“That is really up to the Israeli Defense Force to use and how they are going to conduct their operations.”
Since October 7, the Israeli genocide in Gaza has so far claimed the lives of at least 17,700 Palestinians, with more than 48,800 wounded.
“As we are expected to condemn the killing of Israeli civilians, we are expecting the condemnation of the killing of Palestinian civilians,” Sheikh Mohammed pointed out during the panel discussion.
“How many more Palestinian lives should be lost for Israel to stop its revenge? Israel is making no political gains in this war. It is purely for revenge,” Shtayyeh said on Sunday.
“Israeli intention has always been destroying the possibility of a Palestinian state,” the prime minister asserted.
“Israel must adhere to UN resolutions and international laws and end its occupation. We need the establishment of a Palestinian state as a political solution to see the end of this conflict,” he added.
Towards the end of the panel discussion, the Palestinian prime minister powerfully expressed the resistance of Palestinians in the face of the occupying state, saying: “I know we have a white colour in our flag, but we will never raise the white flag to surrender [our rights].”