Since the start of the year, Israel has killed at least 95 Palestinians, including 17 children and an elderly woman.
Qatar is mediating “on all sides” to de-escalate the latest flare up in Palestine amid concerns over further bloodshed for Palestinians, an official from the Gulf state told CNN on Friday.
“Qatar’s primary goal is to prevent unnecessary bloodshed and avoid destructive consequences for Palestinians and civilian populations,” the official said.
The Gulf state does not have any diplomatic ties with Israel and has repeatedly expressed its staunch refusal to normalise with the occupying state due to its ongoing crimes against Palestinians. However, it played a pivotal role to end Israel’s deadly bombardments in 2021 and 2022.
Late on Thursday, Israel launched an aerial campaign on Gaza following yet another round of brutal attacks targeting Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.
The latest assaults on Gaza damaged several buildings as well as the Al-Durrah Children’s Hospital, though no casualties were reported.
Israel also attacked southern Lebanon in retaliation for rockets fired earlier towards Tel Aviv. Although the move has not been claimed by any entity in Lebanon, Israel was quick to point the blame at Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, adding that it believes Hezbollah had knowledge on the attacks.
In a statement on Friday, Hamas condemned Israel’s strikes and expressed “solidarity with the Lebanese people.”
While the Qatari official who spoke to CNN made no mention of communication with Lebanon on the latest attacks, Beirut said it would submit an official complaint to the UN Security Council over Israel’s “flagrant violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.”
On Friday, Qatar condemned Israel’s raids on Gaza and southern Lebanon, saying it holds Israel “solely responsible for the widening circle of violence”.
“The State of Qatar strongly condemns the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon. It calls on all parties to de-escalate, calm and exercise maximum restraint,” the Gulf state’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Qatar previously warned of escalations as a result of Israel’s increased attacks and restrictions on Palestinian worshippers at the holy site.
Diplomatic sources told Anadolu Agency that the matter was discussed in a phone call on Friday between Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
The Turkish news agency did not disclose further details on the conversation between the two diplomats.
The latest Israeli aggression spurred uproar globally, with protests seen in neighbouring Jordan, Turkey, and as far the United Kingdom.
Israel has continued to act with impunity in Palestine, attacking worshippers at Al-Aqsa while displacing more Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
On Sunday, hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa’s courtyards with the backing of Israeli occupation forces (IOF).
The IOF also set up several checkpoints around Jerusalem to provide a safe passage for Jewish settlers into the Muslim holy site as Palestinian Muslim worshippers were harassed and assaulted.
Since the start of the year, Israel has killed at least 95 Palestinians, including 17 children and an elderly woman, per figures shared by Palestine’s news agency.