Days of Palestine – Doha
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has strongly denounced the Israeli regime’s occupation of Palestinian territories, stating that much of the international community has been neglecting the issue for decades.
“Millions of Palestinians have been suffering from the Israeli occupation and international neglect for more than seven decades,” Sheikh Tamim said at the opening of the 20th edition of the Doha Forum international conference in the Qatari capital on Saturday.
He stressed that “the international community has failed to render justice” to Palestinians and other peoples in the region.
The emir also highlighted that criticism of the Israeli regime’s policies does not amount to anti-Semitism.
“The accusation of anti-Semitism is now used wrongly against everyone who criticizes Israel’s policies,” he said.
Sheikh Tamim added that such an approach “infringes on the struggle against racism and actual anti-Semitism.”
Later in the day, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh met with the Qatari monarch on the sidelines of the Doha Form and lauded his statements in support of Palestinian rights.
“Israel is systematically destroying the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state by escalating settlement construction activities, seizing land and demolishing homes,” Shtayyeh said.
He went on a note that efforts, led by Algeria, are underway “to restore Palestinian unity in order to strengthen the Palestinian front in facing all challenges.”
Shtayyeh then briefed the Qatari emir on the political and economic challenges facing the Palestinian nation.
He stated that Israel’s illegal deductions from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of Palestinians, and decline in international aid have rendered the Palestinian Authority unable to fulfil its obligations.
Back on June 4 last year, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said the kingdom will not normalize diplomatic relations with Israel unless the regime ends its occupation of Palestinian territories, and the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved.
The main reason Qatar doesn’t have relations with Israel “is the occupation of the Palestinian territories,” Al Thani told CNBC television news network at the time.
“The reason is still there, still valid, and there is no … step or any hope toward peace yet. We didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel,” the foreign minister added.
The top Qatari diplomat pointed out that the normalization of ties with the Israeli occupation regime won’t solve the long-standing problems between Israel and the Palestinians.