Qatar burnishes role as ‘essential’ hostage negotiator with Israel-Hamas deal

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Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani welcomes French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna at the Royal Palace in Doha

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani welcomes French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna on the Royal Palace in Doha

PARIS – The emirate of Qatar has additional bolstered its standing as a specialist energy in resolving delicate hostage conditions by utilizing its affect to assist safe the discharge of hostages by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Analysts say Qatar has honed a cautious balancing act, permitting it to marry heat relations with Western powers and preserve ties with radical teams and states which might be thought of pariahs even by shut allies.

Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Majed Al-Ansari, advised AFP that Wednesday morning’s ceasefire settlement underscored the nation’s distinctive diplomatic place.

“This is what we are able to do this nobody else can do and that is the usage of all our talents,” he stated.

“We are targeted on the entire nation on this path. If it would not work, all hell will break free,” he stated.

The West is more and more utilizing the affect of the small however gas-rich Gulf Arab state dominated by Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in these instances, and Qatar’s role can also be essential within the September launch of 5 Americans held by Iran. .

Although Egypt has historically in recent times been the principle mediator between Israel and Palestinian teams, and Turkey underneath President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has additionally expressed any want to become involved, the main focus has been on Qatar serving to to convey hostages again safely.

Behind the scenes, Qatar was triangulating between Israel and Hamas and Qatari ambassadors met with hostages’ households around the globe, Ansari stated.

– Traps –

“They know that there are kids, that there are girls, that there are households which might be struggling on daily basis, due to the ignorance from the truth that they do not know what is going on to their members of the family proper now. So we have now a renewed sense of obligation,” he stated.

Qatar has hosted the political workplace of Hamas for greater than 10 years however can also be house to the most important US navy base within the area.

“Qatar has a bonus that the opposite candidates wouldn’t have for negotiations: it has housed the political management of Hamas” for the previous decade, stated Hasni Abidi, director of the Geneva-based Center for Studies and Research on the Arab World. Mediterranean

That is the one entity approved to barter on behalf of Hamas and the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic motion, Abidi added.

Qatari cash helped Hamas pay the salaries of its civil servants, and the present emir’s father and predecessor Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani even visited Gaza in 2012.

But there are not any potential pitfalls for the Gulf state within the place. Two weeks after the battle in Gaza, the United States warned its allies that there might be “no extra enterprise as ordinary with Hamas”.

In 2017, Qatar’s neighbors, led by Saudi Arabia, imposed a three-year diplomatic and financial blockade on the tiny emirate, demanding that it minimize ties with Hamas and the Palestinian militia’s mother or father motion, the Muslim Brotherhood, as nicely as downgrade ties with Iran. .

– Taliban workplace –

Israel says Hamas gunmen kidnapped 240 individuals – Israelis, twin nationals and foreigners – once they launched the deadliest assaults in Israel’s 75-year historical past. At least 1,200 individuals had been killed, largely civilians, in line with the federal government.

In retaliation, Israel launched a relentless marketing campaign of bombing and floor assaults within the Gaza Strip. According to the Hamas authorities, the struggle has killed greater than 14,100 individuals, hundreds of them kids.

The first glimmer of hope got here in October when US hostage Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter Natalie Shoshana Raanan had been launched and returned to Israel.

After that launch, French President Emmanuel Macron praised Qatar’s “crucial role”. Two different Israelis had been later launched.

The president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, provided “the physique’s deep gratitude to Doha on Wednesday for its important role in facilitating the longer term launch”.

Qatar parked $6 billion of frozen Iranian funds from South Korean banks pending the discharge of 5 American residents held by Iran in a extremely advanced and delicate swap deal.

The emirate additionally invited the Taliban to open an workplace in Doha with the approval of the United States, which made it attainable to barter the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan in 2021.

Qatar additionally performed a role within the 2013 launch of a Swiss trainer kidnapped in Yemen and the discharge of hostages in Mali in the identical 12 months.

Recently, on October 16, with all eyes on Gaza, Qatar introduced that it had repatriated Ukrainian kids kidnapped by Russia throughout the invasion.

In its work Qatar has largely overshadowed Egypt, which helped safe the 2011 launch of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit after greater than 5 years of Hamas occupation.

“It is exactly the buildup of those profitable interventions that made Qatar a vital mediator,” Abidi stated.

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