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Qatar's mediation role under fire

1 min

Qatar has faced significant criticism for its role as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip. This criticism has led to what analysts describe as an unusual "retaliation" from Qatar against its detractors.

Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani © Mena Today 

Qatar has faced significant criticism for its role as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip. This criticism has led to what analysts describe as an unusual "retaliation" from Qatar against its detractors.

Since 2012, Qatar has hosted the political leadership of Hamas with the endorsement of the United States. The emirate has been engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiations for months, attempting to broker a potential truce and facilitate the release of hostages taken in Israel during a Hamas attack on October 7. These hostages have been held in Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

However, the discussions have become mired, with calls from Israel and the United States urging Qatar to exert pressure on Hamas to yield in negotiations. In response to the impasse and the political attacks, particularly from members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, Qatar has hinted it might withdraw from its mediation role.

This week, Majed al-Ansari, a spokesman for Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed that the decision to reconsider Qatar's role was driven by frustration caused by these political attacks. He highlighted the misinformation about Qatar's role and referred to a ceasefire brokered by Doha in November, during which several Israeli and foreign hostages were released.

Qatar's involvement as a mediator has been pivotal in past negotiations, but the current political climate and the direct criticisms from key stakeholders have placed its future role in jeopardy. The outcome of these tensions could significantly impact the ongoing efforts to secure peace and stability in the region.

Qatar's issue is its closeness with Hamas. While it acts as a mediator, its preferences lean towards the Islamist group which it has financed for many years. Therefore, the responsibility lies not with Jerusalem but with Doha.

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