The diplomatic intervention in Gaza by Turkey's ally is hailed as 'crucial'
In a surprising development amid ongoing tensions in the Gaza Strip, Qatar's diplomatic intervention has been hailed as "crucial" by Israel's national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi. It comes as both countries navigate the thorny issue of hostage releases, which has come to the fore again recently.
In a recent press conference with the Turkish foreign minister in Doha, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Qatar's prime minister and foreign minister, expressed hope for an imminent breakthrough on hostage releases. However, a source close to the negotiations clarified that there has been no significant progress on the release of more hostages at this stage.
Highlighting the humanitarian crisis, Sheikh Mohammed commented on the disproportionate global response to the tragedies: "The number of children killed in Gaza exceeds the number of children killed in Ukraine, but we have not seen the same response."
As reported by Haaretz, Hanegbi's most recent English-language post on the social media platform X emphasized Qatar's importance: "I am happy to say that Qatar is becoming an important party and actor in facilitating humanitarian solutions." This statement is seen as a gesture to mend relations between Israel and Qatar, especially after Israel's recent stern messages against the emirate.
On Tuesday, reports emerged of ongoing negotiations between Qatar, Egypt, and other countries with Hamas to secure the release of several Israeli and foreign hostages from Gaza. Despite Qatar's behind-the-scenes role in brokering the release of two Israeli hostages on Monday, Israel's official statement only expressed gratitude to Egypt. Insiders believe that Israel's omission of Qatar from the recognition was a clumsy attempt to publicize Egypt's role in another area - providing humanitarian aid to Gaza.
In addition, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen publicly pointed the finger at Qatar, blaming it for strengthening Hamas. In a speech to the UN Security Council, he urged members to persuade Qatar to work for the release of the hostages. Cohen noted, "Qatar, which finances and harbors Hamas leaders, could influence and facilitate the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages held by the terrorists. You, members of the international community, should demand that Qatar do just that."
Over the years, Turkey and Qatar have maintained a close and multidimensional partnership in various sectors and fields. Their cooperation is rooted in the shared worldviews of the Qatari government and Turkey's ruling conservative party, reinforced by strong economic ties. The two nations have undertaken joint ventures ranging from infrastructure projects to defense agreements, strengthening their strategic alliance. What's more, in the face of regional challenges, they have consistently supported each other's positions on various international issues, cementing their bond.