In a significant move, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, has issued a strong condemnation of Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip. In his annual address to the Shura Council on October 24, he called on the international community to refrain from applying double standards when it comes to the lives of Palestinians.
Sheikh Tamim expressed his deep concern over the civilian casualties resulting from what he termed "barbaric bombing" in Gaza, asserting that silence on this matter is unacceptable. He firmly stated, "Israel should not be given a blank check to engage in unrestricted and indiscriminate violence."
This marks the first time that the Qatari Emir has publicly spoken out against the ongoing conflict between Gaza and Israel, known as Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.
In his address, Sheikh Tamim criticized the use of basic necessities such as water, medicine, and food as weapons against an entire population. He emphasized that Palestinian lives, including those of children, should not be disregarded, and their suffering should not be overlooked.
Qatar's role in mediating between Hamas and Israel has yielded positive results, leading to the release of four captives, including two individuals whom Israel had initially hesitated to accept.
The Emir also called for international and regional pressure to be exerted on Israel to cease its military operations in the besieged Gaza Strip, where the conflict has tragically claimed the lives of over 5,000 civilians.
Sheikh Tamim stressed the urgency of a united global and regional response to the escalating situation, emphasizing that this crisis not only jeopardizes regional security but also poses a threat to global stability.
Qatar has been actively involved in mediating efforts since the early stages of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and has been pushing for a prompt prisoner swap agreement since October 7.
Furthermore, Qatar is working with the support of the United States to facilitate an agreement for the release of Israeli women held by Hamas in exchange for Palestinian female prisoners in Israeli custody. An anonymous Hamas source revealed these ongoing negotiations.
This latest development underscores Qatar's historical role as a prominent mediator in the West Asian region, bridging divides between West Asian states and Western powers.
Notably, last month, Qatar successfully mediated a groundbreaking prisoner-swap deal between the United States and Iran, leading to the release of $6 billion in Iranian funds previously frozen in South Korea.