Qatari state officials note that the Palestinian file is one of the most important files that Qatari diplomacy is working on.
United States President Joe Biden welcomes a Qatar and Egypt-brokered ceasefire to end Israel’s latest offensive in the Gaza Strip, highlighting the diplomatic role Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and his team led in helping halt the deadly offensive on the besieged city.
“Over these last 72-hours, the United States has worked with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, and others throughout the region to encourage a swift resolution to the conflict,” Biden said in a statement on Sunday.
Five Palestinian children, aged between five to 14-years-old, were killed by an unprovoked Israeli raid while they were visiting their grandfather’s grave on Sunday.
Initially, Israel claimed their weapons were not used and rather alleged that it was a ‘misfired’ rocket coming from Gaza.
The American president also praised Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El Sisi and senior Egyptian officials in helping facilitate the ceasefire, following a three-day attack which claimed the lives of more than 40 Palestinians, including at least 15 children.
At least 350 Palestinian civilians have also been wounded.
The “comprehensive and reciprocal ceasefire” to end the deadly offensive on the besieged city came into effect at 11:30 PM local time (8:30 PM GMT), following intensive talks between Egypt, the occupying regime and Gaza’s ruling-Hamas movement.
The ceasefire came into effect last night, despite an surge of Israeli air raids and Palestinian rocket attacks up until the very last minute.
Ziyad Al Nakhla, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement’s secretary general, pledged that if the group’s conditions for the ceasefire are not respected by Israel, the fighting will resume.
He said one of the key agreements in the ceasefire was an Egyptian commitment to follow up on the files of Palestinian prisoners, especially Khalil Awawdeh and PIJ official Bassam Al Saadi.
“The Islamic Jihad lays down its conditions. First, to unite all the Palestinians. Second, we demand that the enemy release our brother who has been on hunger strike, Khalil Awawda, and third, to release Sheikh Bassem Al Saadi,” Al Nakhala told reporters in Iranian capital as quoted by Al Jazeera.
Cairo issued a statement saying it is “exerting efforts to release” Awawda and “transfer him for treatment” and is working for the release of Al Saadi “as soon as possible”.
Awawdeh has been on a hunger strike for more than 100 days in protest of his “administrative detention” by the Zionist regime.
Al Saadi was arrested again last week after spending 15 years in Israeli prison for his involvement in the Islamic Jihad group. Following his arrest, Israel blocked the roads surrounding Gaza.
The Zionist state has long used its fight against Hamas and other Palestinian groups as the pretext for its attacks on defenceless civilians in Gaza.
The Egypt-brokered deal also involves easing the siege on the strip as well as introducing fuel trucks to the city’s sole power station from Monday. Gaza’s power plant shut off on Saturday amid the latest round of bombardment, as Israel simultaneously closed the Karam Abu Salem crossing.
Qatar-funded fuel helps power the city’s electricity station, which provides electricity in eight-hour rotations for the public.
On top of withholding fuel from the power plant, the occupying state also controls up to 90% of water in the besieged enclave. Sources and figures show that only 10.5% of Palestinians in Gaza have access to safe drinking water.
Palestinians and social media users have shed light on Israel’s tendency to attack the besieged Gaza Strip and other densely Palestinian-populated areas whenever a general election looms near, in a bid to gain legitimacy among far-right citizens.
“Between 2019 and 2021, there were 4 Israeli elections—all of which failed to establish a majority government. The solution to this political crisis? A devastating 15-day assault on the Gaza Strip ending on May 21st, which gave rise to a new government by June 2,” tweeted Palestinian writer Mohammed El-Kurd.
In 2021, Qatar and Egypt helped broker a ceasefire that ended an 11-day bombardment of the besieged city.
Commenting on the latest developments in Gaza, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Dr. Majed Al Ansari said the Gulf country’s role “was pivotal to ensure the reduction of tension and the arrival of a ceasefire.”
“The intensive Qatari contacts helped us identify the reality of the situation in Gaza…our diplomacy depends on dialogue and bringing parties together, and it has achieved success on several fronts,” Dr. Al Ansari told Al Jazeera in a televised interview.
The official noted that the Palestinian file “is one of the most important files that Qatari diplomacy is working on”.
On Saturday, GCC Secretary General Nayef Al Hajraf “condemned the brutal military aggression of the Israeli occupation forces on the Gaza Strip.”
Al Hajraf said that the attacks are a continuation of Israeli crimes and occupation, all of which are “a violation of the international law and resolutions of international legitimacy”.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani on Friday condemned the Zionist state’s attacks as well as its killing of leaders from the Palestinian resistance. Kanaani noted that the Palestinian people and resistance groups “are legally entitled to take action and defend themselves”.
Palestinians are “not alone” in their fight against the Zionist regime, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Saturday.
“Today, all the anti-Zionist jihadi capabilities are on the scene in a united formation working to liberate Jerusalem and uphold the rights of the Palestinian people,” IRGC’s Major-General Hossein Salami said in a statement on its Sepah News website.
The occupying regime launched a pre-emptive attack on Friday that lasted for three days.
In a statement on Sunday, the PIJ movement confirmed that Khaled Mansour, its commander in the southern division in the Gaza Strip of the Al Quds Brigades (Saraya Al Quds), had been killed in an Israeli raid that hit an overcrowded area in Rafah city on Saturday.
At least seven people were killed in that strike, including two other PIJ fighters, Ziad Ahmed Al Mdalal and Rafat Saleh Sheikh Al Eid, as well as a 14-year-old child and two women, reports said.
“We are with you on this path until the end, and let Palestine and the Palestinians know that they are not alone,” Salami told the visiting leader of the Islamic Jihad group, Ziad Al Nakhala, during a meeting in Tehran.