Israel has announced plans to build 30,000 new illegal settlement housing units on Palestinian land in Bethlehem and Ramallah.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani renewed Doha’s unwavering support for the rights of Palestinians and the Arab Peace initiative on Monday.
This came during a meeting in Doha between Sheikh Mohammed and the Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Hussein Al Sheikh.
“We discussed the latest developments, specifically after [US President Joe] Biden’s tour of the region and the summit of Jeddah. I reaffirmed our high appreciation for His Highness the [Amir’s] speech at the summit, as well as the united Arab position on the Palestine issue,” tweeted Al Sheikh.
According to Qatar’s foreign ministry, Sheikh Mohammed also reiterated Doha’s “adherence to international legitimacy, relevant Security Council resolutions” that enable the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Palestinian official’s visit comes after the Jeddah Security and Development Summit in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. The summit was attended by the US president and leaders from the GCC+3—Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
During his speech at the meeting, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani slammed Israel’s “politics of force” under which the Zionist state rejects concessions put forward by the Arab world.
“It is inappropriate for the Arabs to propose settlements, while Israel’s role is confined to rejecting them and increasing its intransigence whenever the Arabs make concessions. Just as Israel has a public opinion, we also have a public opinion in the Arab world,” said Sheikh Tamim.
The amir highlighted the importance of committing to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which was adopted by the GCC and stipulates that member states shall refrain from normalising with Israel until it fully withdraws from lands occupied in 1967.
Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE have already established diplomatic relations with Israel.
However, Qatar has repeatedly expressed its staunch refusal to normalise with Tel Aviv as long as it continues to violate international law in its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.
Biden was at the meeting as part of a regional tour that kicked off in Tel Aviv.
In a joint press conference with Biden on Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the US to remove the PLO from its “Foreign Terrorist Organizations”.
“We are not terrorists. And also, we look forward to reopening the PLO office in Washington. And we are ready to work within the framework of partnership and cooperation in order to remove any obstacles to achieving that,” said Abbas.
The former US Donald Trump administration had shut down the PLO’s office in Washington after claiming the entity“has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel”.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) said the move enables the occupying state to continue its “policies against the Palestinian people and land”.
“It is a declaration of war on efforts to bring peace to our country and the region,” PA spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud said at the time.
Biden’s regional tour
Last week, the US president started his first regional tour since coming to office.
Since announcing his itinerary, the US president faced global backlash by activists and Palestinians, who pressed Biden to address the killing of veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
The journalist was shot and killed on 11 May by an Israeli sniper while she was covering a raid of Jenin by Zionist forces. To date, the US has failed to condemn its ally Israel for the killing and has faced global outrage for attempting to “whitewash” ongoing Israeli crimes.
Biden failed to meet Abu Akleh’s family in Jerusalem but invited them to meet him in Washington instead.
The Israeli sniper has admitted to the crime though claimed the killing was “unintentional”.
A United Nations probe, as well as investigations by leading American media outlets also found Israel responsible for the killing. Despite this, a US investigation said the killing was likely “unintentional”.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday alongside Abbas, Biden said the US will be supporting an independent investigation into the killing of the Palestinian-American journalist.
“The United States will continue to insist on a full and transparent accounting of her death and will continue to stand for media freedom across the world,” said Biden.
Hours after his visit, Israel carried out bombings in the beseiged Gaza Strip, causing further destruction in the Palestinian city. According to Palestine’s news agency (WAFA), Israeli warplanes fired 10 missiles, setting fire to houses near the Sheikh Ijjileen tourist resort, with no injuries reported.
The Zionist state also fired two additional missiles at the west of Nusseirat refugee camp, causing complete destruction of the area. Israel claimed its attacks were in response to rockets from Gaza into southern Israel.
Meanwhile, Palestine’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that Israel has announced plans to build 30,000 new illegal settlement housing units on Palestinian land in Bethlehem and Ramallah.