October 11, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10851

Emirati 'Al-Arab' Daily: Qatar's Offers To Mediate Between Hamas And Israel Are Meant To Cover For Its Harboring Of Hamas Arch-Terrorists

October 11, 2023
Qatar, Palestinians, United Arab Emirates | Special Dispatch No. 10851

An October 10, 2023 article in the London-based Emirati daily Al-Arab addressed the Qatari offer to broker a prisoner-exchange deal between Hamas and Israel following Hamas' large-scale attack in which some 1,200 Israelis were killed, thousands were wounded and dozens were abduced to the Gaza Strip. The article states that Qatar's mediation offer is meant to cover for the fact that it harbors Hamas leaders, especially the head of the organization's political bureau, Isma'il Haniya, who, according to the article, took part in planning the attack while staying in Qatar. The article assesses further that, whereas in the past Israel was amenable to Qatar's mediation offers, today Qatar is "in Israel's crosshairs for revenge."

Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Aal Thani with Hamas Political Bureau Head Isma'il Haniya in Doha (Source:, January 31, 2021)  

The following are translated excerpts from the article:[1]

"Maneuvering for a role in the conflict that has now exploded between Israel and Hamas, Qatar has offered to broker a prisoner exchange deal involving women and children. Its intention is to preempt any Israeli accusation that the Hamas leaders staying in Doha were the ones who led the unprecedented attack on the Gaza-envelope settlements [sic], [an attack] in which hundreds of Israelis were killed and dozens of soldiers and civilians were taken hostage, whom Hamas is now threatening to execute if the Israeli pounding [of Gaza] continues…

"Israel is looking for elements to accuse of solidarity with Hamas, and [Qatar, which] allowed the Hamas leaders to stay in Doha and steer their movement from there, is therefore in Israel's crosshairs for revenge, even if it has evaded an American demand for accountability…

"Hamas political bureau head Isma'il Haniya said on Saturday [October 7, 2023] that the attack had started in Gaza and would spread to the West Bank and Jerusalem, and added: 'How many times have we warned you that our Palestinian people has been living in refugee camps for 75 years while you refuse to recognize its rights, [and that this will have consequences]?'

"These statements prove that Haniya was not uninvolved in the planning of the Hamas-led large-scale attack in Gaza, in which hundreds were killed and dozens of Israelis were taken hostage, and that his staying in Qatar did not prevent him from coordinating the attack with the leadership inside Gaza and later from promoting it politically, while Doha refrained from protesting any of this.

"The U.S. is making sure to keep the channels of communication with Hamas open, by means of the Qataris. This is the same policy it pursued with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Before [offering] to broker the release of the [Israeli] women and children [held by Hamas], Qatar announced, in a statement by its foreign ministry, that it holds Israel solely responsible for the escalation due to its ongoing violations of the Palestinian people's rights…[2]

"Israel is looking for elements that helped Hamas carry out its attack. Now that the U.S. has exonerated Iran of direct involvement in the attack, eyes will turn towards Hamas' leaders who are staying abroad, especially in Qatar. U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken said that he could find no evidence that Iran was behind the attack against Israel carried out by Hamas' military wing, the ['Izz Al-Din] Al-Qassam Brigades, despite the long-standing ties between the two sides.

"In the past, escalations by Hamas involved ineffective rocket attacks, so Israel accepted offers to calm [the situation]. But today the situation is different. Israel, which is accusing Hamas of murdering and abducting civilians, will look for anyone who supported Hamas in any way, and this will affect [its attitude] to Qatar's mediation offers…"


[1] Al-Arab (London), October 10, 2023.

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