The death toll of Palestinians killed by the IOF has reached 413 by Monday morning.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani stressed the importance of “safeguarding the lives of civilians” in a phone call on Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as escalations continue in Gaza.
An Amiri Diwan statement said the conversation between the two leaders dealt with “developments in the situation in the Palestinian arena and ways to reduce escalations”.
“The Amir stressed, during the call, that safeguarding the lives of civilians, sparing them the consequences of conflict, and reducing escalation are top priorities for the State of Qatar, which is making all its diplomatic efforts with various concerned parties to achieve this goal,” the statement said.
Sheikh Tamim also underscored Qatar’s “steadfast stance on the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people”.
The Qatari leader echoed his country’s support for the Palestinian right “to establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the two-state solution”.
President Abbas also thanked Qatar’s amir for Doha’s “efforts and unwavering position regarding the just Palestinian issue.”
The call on Sunday came as Israel continued its bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip for a second night. As per figures on Monday morning, at least 413 Palestinians have been killed in the besieged enclave by Israel.
Israel has been targeting residential towers across Gaza, many of which were shelled without prior warning.
On Sunday, Qatar expressed “grave concern” on the violence in Gaza as well as the cross-border fighting between Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Israeli army.
“Qatar renews its call for all parties to halt the escalation to attain calm and entirely stop the armed confrontations on all fronts to protect the region from the danger of descending into a wider cycle of violence,” the Gulf state said in a foreign ministry statement on Sunday.
The statement said Qatar is communicating “with the relevant parties, as part of regional and international efforts to de-escalate the situation”. Earlier, Qatari authorities confirmed Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani had been in contact with officials from the United States and the Arab region—namely Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.
“Qatar reiterated its condemnation of all forms of targeting civilians, along with its call to protect them from consequences of the conflict, and reaffirmed that the only guarantee to achieve a sustainable peace in the region is to attain a just and comprehensive solution for the Palestinian cause,” the foreign ministry added.
In a press conference late on Saturday, US President Joe Biden said he directed his administration to remain in contact with regional leaders.
“I’ve also directed my team to remain in constant contact with leaders throughout the region, including Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, the UAE, as well as with our European partners and the Palestinian Authority,” Biden said.
Biggest Palestinian operation
The latest flare up came after Saturday’s ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ – the largest Palestinian operation in recent history. The operation was carried out by Hamas’ armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, who managed to break out of the besieged Gaza Strip and infiltrate the occupied territories by land, air and sea.
Since the surprise operation, at least 700 Israelis have been killed and numerous others taken hostage. On Sunday, Hamas confirmed it has more than 130 Israelis, including senior Israeli officials, in its captivity.
Hours later, Israel threatened a ground invasion of Gaza within the next 24-to-48 hours.
The latest developments come following intensified Israeli attacks on Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the repeated settler storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque in an attempt to change the status-quo of the holy Muslim site.
In a statement on Saturday, Qatar said it holds the Israeli occupation “solely” responsible for the ongoing flare ups while expressing its “deep concern” on the developments in Gaza.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds Israel alone responsible for the ongoing escalation due to its ongoing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people, the latest of which is the repeated raids on the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Israeli police,” the statement said.