Al Khater is a vocal advocate of Palestinian rights.
Top Qatari official Lolwah Al Khater visited the Rafah Crossing for the first time since Israel’s brutal war on Gaza after calling out the occupying state’s Western backers for their double standard approach to humanitarian catastrophes.
Al Khater, who serves as the Minister of State for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was in Egypt to head a delegation delivering essential aid to Palestinians, including a field hospital.
The official “discussed with the Egyptian side the challenges associated with the intransigence of the Israeli occupation and the inaction of the international community, stressing that the State of Qatar will strive with the brothers in Egypt and UNRWA to deliver aid to those who need it in Gaza despite the obstacles,” QNA reported.
On Monday, the vocal advocate of Palestine issued yet another scathing statement in which she called out Western justifications of Israel’s targeting of hospitals in Gaza on Monday, questioning the disappearance of humanity towards the Strip’s 2.3 million population.
“Seriously, how do you justify this to yourselves? Hospitals are being targeted and you provide a justification for that? Is there another bottom that you still have not reached,” Al Khater, Qatar’s Minister of State for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The remarks were made to repeated Israeli claims on Hamas’ alleged use of tunnels inside Gaza’s hospitals as a hiding place and launch point for military operations.
On Monday, Israel released footage from Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital in Gaza, branding the video as alleged hard evidence to back its claims. Presented by Daniel Hagari, Israel’s military spokesman, claimed to show an alleged Hamas tunnel that led to the hospital 200 yards ago, however failed to clearly display the link.
He also claimed to locate a stockpile of neatly stacked weaponry belonging to Hamas, a pack of diapers, as well as a document showcasing Hamas fighter “shifts” that was actually an Arabic calendar of the days of the week.
Gaza’s health authorities rejected the Israeli allegations as social media users worldwide mocked what has been described as another failed propaganda attempt.
Hitting back at the repeated Israeli allegations, Al Khater revealed that her team had been receiving “tens of calls every single day” for months during Qatar’s role to evacuate thousands of foreigners in the wake of the Taliban takeover of Kabul.
She said they were even forced to “convince a group” in the United States that they did not need to evacuate dogs.
“My colleagues and I were receiving tens of calls every single day from officials, parliamentarians, congressional members, athletes, artists, trade unions, from every continent asking us to save lives!” she said.
Al Khater added: “I swear that I personally spent days convincing a group in the US that we don’t have to evacuate dogs since Taliban were not into eating dogs!”
The Qatari official also questioned the stark difference in reactions towards the genocide in Gaza that has been allowed to continue unabated for more than a month without concrete action to halt Israeli aggression.
“How do you think we should feel right now as we see your reaction to the Gaza Genocide? Where did your humanity go? Principles? Women’s rights?” Al Khater asked.
Since the start of the war, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have killed more than 11,200 Palestinians, including 4,600 children, though the numbers are expected to be higher.
Israel has deliberately targeted hospitals since the start of the war despite the facilities being used to treat thousands of Palestinians and housing families seeking shelter from the bombing.
Currently, more than one-third of the Strip’s health facilities are no longer functioning either due to the bombardment or absence of electricity.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that it recorded at least 137 attacks on the health care in Gaza since the start of the war, including 521 deaths and 686 injuries. The agency recorded at least 16 deaths and 38 injuries of health workers on duty.
No ground for Israeli allegations
On October 17, the IOF carried out a massacre at the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital, in which at least 500 Palestinians seeking treatment and shelter were killed.
Largely due to global outrage, Israel then attempted to convince the world that Hamas had been using the hospital to launch attacks against its forces. Last week, Hagari claimed Hamas is now using Gaza’s Qatar-funded hospital and claimed to show tunnels using birdseye images.
Those allegations were swiftly dismissed by the Gulf state as well as multiple independent investigations that found the tunnels in question were in fact water tanks.
On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) echoed the findings of previous investigations and confirmed it was unable to confirm Israel’s claims over the use of Al Shifa Hospital by Hamas.
“Despite the Israeli military’s claims on November 5, 2023, of ‘Hamas’s cynical use of hospitals,’ no evidence put forward would justify depriving hospitals and ambulances of their protected status under international humanitarian law,” HRW said.
HRW added that Israel’s “repeated, apparently unlawful attacks on medical facilities” in Gaza “should be investigated as war crimes.”
“Israel’s repeated attacks damaging hospitals and harming healthcare workers, already hard hit by an unlawful blockade, have devastated Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure,” A. Kayum Ahmed, special adviser on the right to health at HRW, said.
Gaza’s health sector officially collapsed last month after Israel cut off all water, fuel and entry of necessities from the Strip as part of its siege. Doctors have been forced to treat thousands of patients on the floor without anaesthesia.
Gaza’s health authorities said Al Shifa Hospital has turned into a mass grave, in which doctors have been forced to bury victims inside the building due to the non-stop bombardment and attacks by Israeli forces around the vicinity of the facility.
On Sunday, authorities said “dogs entered Al-Shifa Hospital and mauled the bodies of the martyrs”. So far, three premature babies who had been surviving in incubators died due to a lack of oxygen and electricity.