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Region ‘let down’ by West’s reaction to Israeli crimes in Gaza: Qatar

Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani speaks during a press conference alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Doha, Qatar, on November 24, 2023. (Photo by AP)

Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has slammed the West’s support for Israel’s war on the besieged Gaza Strip, warning against the risk of a regional spillover.

“There’s a big disappointment in the region from the West’s reaction… We were expecting from the West the killing of Palestinian people is something to be condemned,” the Financial Times quoted al-Thani as saying on Sunday.

“And what we expect at least is [the West] to step up to the same standards, the same principles that they stood up to with other wars,” al-Thani added.

Noting that the war on Gaza was not treated like other conflicts, Sheikh Mohammed said “calling for a ceasefire after this destruction and killing [in Gaza] and displacement is a duty on everyone.”

Destruction of Hamas ‘not realistic’

Al-Thani emphasized that Israel’s declared aim of eliminating Hamas resistance movement was not realistic.

“At the end of the day, Hamas’s destruction by the continuation of this war will never happen,” he said, calling for a political solution to the conflict.

He stressed that Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank needed to have a “political horizon” for a viable state of their own and to be able to choose their own leadership, adding “Other than that . . . there won’t be a solution.”

The minister noted that Qatar now focuses on stopping the war. “Our only plan is to stop the war.”

“Talking about the day after as the killing and the massacres is ongoing is just like endorsing this war,” he said.

“The amount of anger and agitation in the Arab population in the region is unprecedented when they see these images, and nobody is stepping up to stop it.”

Al-Thani also warned that the failure to secure an extended ceasefire would risk the war spilling over and destabilizing “the entire region.”

He slammed Western powers for not exerting more pressure on Israel to end the war.

Referring to the underway temporary ceasefire in Gaza, al-Thani said it could be extended if Hamas managed to locate women and children captives who are held in Gaza and secure their release.

“If they get additional women and children, there will be an extension,” he said, adding “We don’t yet have any clear information how many they can find because . . . one of the purposes [of the pause] is they [Hamas] will have time to search for the rest of the missing people.”

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

Nearly 15,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children, have been killed in the Israeli strikes.

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