Gaza crisis: Qatar pushing to repair truce, bring end to Israel-Hamas war

Sheikh Tamim called on the UN Security Council to force Israel to return to the negotiating table and slammed the international community's inaction in halting the conflict

By Reuters

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Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. – Reuters
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. – Reuters

Published: Tue 5 Dec 2023, 5:25 PM

Last updated: Tue 5 Dec 2023, 5:26 PM

Qatar is pressing for a comprehensive end to the war in Gaza and is working to repair a collapsed truce agreement between Israel and Hamas, its emir said on Tuesday.

"We are constantly working to renew (the truce) and to alleviate the burden of our people in the Gaza Strip, but truces are not an alternative for a comprehensive ceasefire," Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said in a speech to Gulf leaders gathered in the Qatari capital Doha.

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Qatar, where several political leaders of Hamas are based, has been leading negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian militant group.

Those talks led to a truce that ultimately lasted for seven days before hostilities resumed on Friday. During the truce, Hamas released dozens of hostages held in Gaza in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, and Israel allowed humanitarian aid to flow into the coastal enclave.

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Israel on Saturday ordered a negotiating team from its Mossad intelligence service that was in Doha to return home.

Sheikh Tamim called on the UN Security Council to force Israel to return to the negotiating table over the war in Gaza, saying the inaction by the international community in halting the conflict was "shameful".

"It is shameful for the international community to allow this heinous crime to continue for nearly two months, during which the systematic and deliberate killing of innocent civilians continues, including women and children," he said.

Qatar's foreign ministry said Tuesday's summit in Doha was aimed at forming a united approach to end the war in Gaza across the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar.

"Now the ceiling should be raised to talk about a sustainable truce that could lead to ending this war," Majed Al Ansari, spokesperson for Qatar's foreign ministry, told Al Jazeera.

Israel launched its assault to wipe out Hamas in retaliation for an October 7 cross-border attack in which militants killed 1,200 people and seized 240 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

In eight weeks of warfare, the Gaza health ministry said at least 15,899 Palestinians, 70% of them women or under 18s, have been killed.

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