March 11, 2024 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 578

Port Of Hope In Gaza: The Beginning Of The End Of The War

March 11, 2024 | By Yigal Carmon*
Palestinians | MEMRI Daily Brief No. 578

The American initiative to build a temporary port off the coast of the Gaza Strip is no less than a miracle. It carries far more weight than the absolutely necessary supply of food and humanitarian aid to the population in Gaza.

It carries military, political, and strategic far-reaching implications and a potential roadmap to a peaceful end of the war, with a victory over Hamas and its sponsors, Qatar and Iran.

Indeed it is a miracle that the U.S. administration, which has so often sold out politically to its so-called non-NATO ally (Qatar), moved ahead with such a courageous and humanistic move involving the peace-seeking and anti-terrorist UAE instead of Qatar.

From left to right: Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, U.S. President Joe Biden, and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

It means a potential reversal of American policy and a victory to the bloc of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Emirates (with fledgling Egypt) over the bloc of Qatar, Iran, Hizbullah, the Houthis, Russia, and China.

It suffices to see who is against this humanitarian move. Qatar, after shedding crocodile tears for months about starvation in Gaza, goes with all its power against this project of bringing in huge amounts of food for the population, and describes the project as a coffin.

Port of Aid.[1]

Moreover, Qatar indirectly seems to even be threatening the U.S. through the insane and wild media outlet Rai Al-Yawm – whose notorious editor Abd Al-Bari Atwan is rumored to be on the Qatari payroll and promoting its pro-terrorist agenda – to fire missiles at American ships and soldiers. So much for that non-NATO ally.[2]

The administration should warn Qatar that any missile targeting the port humanitarian project will be regarded as a Qatari attack on American soldiers.

Who else is against this humanitarian project? Of course: Qatar's ally Iran.

No need for any explanation here. Anything that disables the strangling hands of Hamas and Qatar from gripping the Gazan population is by definition something that Iran will oppose with all its proxies (official Iran came out without missing a beat against the Port of Hope on various official media outlets describing it as a plot against Hamas. See three examples).[3]

Egypt is afraid to expose its anti-American position but it is clearly against this American move because the closing of Rafah crossing to aid trucks will cost it huge amounts of money it gets from bribery through its shady organization in Sinai (See MEMRI Daily Brief No. 571, The Military Merchant Who May Hold One Key To Post-Hamas Gaza, February 16, 2024).

A victory over Hamas and the participation of the UAE and eventually Jordan later on will open the horizon for a solution between Israel and the Palestinians based on defeating Hamas, which openly seeks to destroy not the settlements but Israel itself, as they did on October 7, and keep chanting in their slogan "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." Both the Emirates and Jordan will engage in the distribution of the food to the population.

The port initiative will cut off the Hamas-Qatar control of the supplies that until now came through the Rafah crossing, and from there was stolen by Hamas and later sold to the population for inflated prices. Any weakening of Qatar will make Hamas more cooperative in turning the hostages into a trading asset in negotiations, which is not the case right now, as their main goal is a ceasefire and an Israeli withdrawal.

The Port of Hope will enable Israel to carry out the absolutely necessary military operation in Rafah, which both President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu consider a red line for them (for different reasons). Israel will be able to carry it out with minimal civilian casualties since the population will move again to where there is a secure and constant flow of food thanks to the U.S. and the Emirates.

This ongoing supply of humanitarian aid to Gaza could become the beginning of the end to this terrible war if the administration will not heed the Qatari and Iranian attempts to derail it.

The worst thing to happen would be if America involves Qatar in the port project. Qatar, being unable to stop the administration, will seek to sabotage the project from within.

Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is a captive and collaborator of Qatar, might try himself to bring Qatar in. According to media reports,[4] Sara Netanyahu, in a pathetic and worthless move of degrading Israel, sent an honoring letter to the matriarch of the criminal Aal Thani family, Sheikha Moza, and begged her for help in the release of the hostages, all of this probably with the consent of the prime minister.

Hopefully, the Qatari lobby in the Biden administration – presenting its opposition to the port initiative as a defense of American interests – will not succeed in that plot, because the port serves America's interests. 

If the Qatari lobby in Congress succeeds in blocking this humanitarian-strategic project, Israel will face no other option but continued war, which most Israelis support in order to prevent another or more October 7 attacks,[5] something that President Biden does not need as November nears.

*Yigal Carmon is President of MEMRI.


[1], March 11, 2024.

[2], March 9, 2024.

[3] A major government commentator describes it as a maneuver to send Hamas leaders out, like what was done in 1982 with the PLO leadership from Lebanon to Tunis., accessed March 11, 2024., March 11, 2024., March 10, 2024., March 11, 2024.

[4], March 11, 2024.

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