Qatar also postponed this year’s National Day celebrations in show of solidarity with the people of Palestine who have been under relentless Israeli attacks.
The Qatari Embassy in Washington, D.C., has canceled its upcoming National Day celebration as Israel’s deadly bombardments claimed the lives of more than 20,000, destroyed entire neighbourhoods, and forcibly displaced millions from Gaza.
The embassy informed guests in a notice obtained and reviewed by Doha News
The cancellation notice to its invited guests read: “We write this email to inform our dear friends and partners that while we truly looked forward to seeing you at the celebration of our National Day on December 6th, 2023 at the United States Institute of Peace, we have decided to cancel Qatar National Day.”
While the embassy did not disclose the motive behind the cancellation, earlier this month on November 20, the Qatari government postponed this year’s National Day celebrations in Doha as a show of solidarity with Palestinians who have been under relentless Israeli attacks.
Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Khaled bin Mohammed Al Attiyah had also made an announcement, saying it “is the least we can do about what is happening to our brothers in Gaza, which is genocide and crimes against humanity.”
Other events within Qatar have also been paused as a gesture of solidarity with Palestine.
Qatar Museums announced its postponement of Qatar Creates Week for October 2023 on October 15.
“With the escalation of the situation in the Middle East over the last few days, we are all deeply saddened and concerned about the tragic loss of lives and the wellbeing of the innocent people caught up in the troubles,” the statement read. “Whilst Qatar is not directly affected by the ongoing crisis, this is not a moment to celebrate.”
Fashion Trust Arabia also announced on November 7 that it cancelled its Fifth Annual Awards Ceremony and all forthcoming activities in light of the genocide in Gaza.
“In light of the ongoing and deeply distressing humanitarian crisis in Palestine we have taken the decision to cancel our Fifth Annual Awards Ceremony, which was set to take place last month, and all our upcoming activities. We have made this decision out of solidarity and respect,” the organisation said in a statement on Instagram.
Qatar has played a pivotal role in mediating with Hamas and Israel. It facilitated a humanitarian pause that began on Friday 7:00 AM Gaza local time on November 24 for four days, before it was extended for three additional days so far.
The initial agreement stipulated the release of more than 50 Israeli and foreign captives from Hamas in Gaza in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons.
By Wednesday, the sixth day of the truce, Hamas released 102 captives in Gaza whereas Israel released 210 Palestinian women and children from its prisons, according to a Doha News tally, based on the daily announcements of releases by Qatar’s Foreign Ministry.
The deal also entailed the entry of additional aid trucks into the besieged enclave, including fuel shipments as Gaza’s 2.2 million population continues to grapple with a dire humanitarian situation worsened by the complete Israeli siege and deadly bombardment.