Qatar pledges to help stop Israeli attacks on Palestinians

The Qatari emir reiterates ongoing support to Palestinians in a call with PA President Mahmoud Abbas after an 11-day conflict.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in a telephone call with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, has said Qatar will pursue efforts together with other nations to help stop Israeli attacks against Palestinians and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the state news agency QNA reported.

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which rules the besieged Gaza Strip, came in effect on Friday morning to end the 11-day fighting.

Abbas briefed the emir on developments related to the ceasefire “and the efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip, expressing his sincere thanks and appreciation to HH the Emir for the role of the State of Qatar and its efforts in support of the Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate national rights”, the QNA said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the emir highlighted “the importance of the unity of the Palestinian ranks”.

The Qatari ruler reiterated the Gulf nation’s ongoing support to the “brotherly Palestinian people and their just cause” and pledged to continue its efforts with Arab and Muslim countries “to stop the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque”, the agency reported.

Raids by the Israeli security forces on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan served as one of the main catalysts for the latest round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza.

The 11-day Israeli bombardment of Gaza killed at least 248 people, including 66 children, with more than 1,900 people wounded. At least 12 people in Israel were killed by the Hamas rocket fire from Gaza.

World leaders welcomed the ceasefire deal reached on Thursday, with US President Joe Biden saying he believed there was “a genuine opportunity to make progress”.

Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu’s office had announced the ceasefire “without pre-conditions”, with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – another armed group in Gaza – confirming it shortly afterwards.

Palestinians return to their destroyed houses in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza, following an Israel-Hamas truce [Mohammed Salem/Reuters] Israeli air raids hit the Qatari Red Crescent Society (QRCS) office in Gaza during the fighting, killing two Palestinians and wounding 10 others.

The organisation condemned the targeting of its office while asserting the need to “allow relief teams to work in accordance with international humanitarian law”.

QRCS Secretary-General Ali bin Hassan al-Hammadi slammed the attack as a flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention, of which Israel is a signatory.

On May 15, an Israeli air raid demolished a building that housed various media offices, including those of Al Jazeera and The Associated Press, claiming without providing evidence that Hamas had a presence in the building.