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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

EU Parliamentarians praise Qatar’s mediation role in ending war on Gaza


Qatar was a key mediator in ending the 11-day bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Jose Ramon Bauza, Chairman of the Qatar-EU Parliamentary Friendship Group praised Qatar’s mediation role in occupied Palestine and the horn of Africa, adding that the latest efforts in supporting Palestinians shows the state’s will to provide ‘prosperity and a peaceful world’.

“As head of the Friendship Group between the European Union and Qatar, I look forward to continuing to work with Mr. Abdulrahman bin Muhammad Al-Khulaifi, head of the Qatari delegation to the European Union, towards this common goal,” Bauza said in a statement. 

Qatar played a pivotal role during the 11-day Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people helping halt Israel’s attacks as well as providing aid to victims in Gaza. 

The truce agreement, brokered as a result of efforts by Qatar and Egypt, has been praised by leaders around the world for ending days of brutal violence.

Earlier, the United Nations’ Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland also thanked Doha for its efforts in bringing the situation in occupied Palestine to a much needed calm.

On Sunday, the Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh met with Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, where the two discussed the latest developments in Palestine as well as efforts to rebuild Gaza following the 11-day bombardment of the besieged enclave.

Haniyeh thanked Sheikh Tamim for Doha’s substantial diplomatic efforts that played a role in reaching the truce after days of brutal violence that killed hundreds of Palestinian civilians including more than 60 children.

The Qatari amir extended his continued support to Palestinians and stressed the importance of Palestinian unity to obtain legitimate national rights, among which is the establishment of an independent state.

On Saturday the Amir pledged to help stop Israeli attacks against Palestinians and the Al-Aqsa mosque during a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Doha’s state news agency [QNA] reported.

President Abbas also expressed his appreciation of Qatar’s continued efforts to support Palestinians.

Both the phone call and meeting came just days after a Qatar and Egypt-brokered truce between Israel and Hamas came into effect.

“I commend Egypt and Qatar for the efforts carried out, in close coordination with the UN, to help restore calm to Gaza and Israel”, said Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement to reporters at United Nations [UN] Headquarters in New York, calling on all sides to observe the ceasefire.

Commenting on the truce, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said:

“I welcome the ceasefire between #Gaza & #Israel. I extend my deepest condolences to the victims of the violence & their loved ones. I commend #Egypt & #Qatar for the efforts carried out, in close contact w/ the @UN, to help restore calm. The work of building #Palestine can start,” he tweeted.

Since May 10, Israeli air strikes and missile attacks have destroyed fifty schools in Gaza according to Save the Children. 

Read also: UN, EU thank Qatar for facilitating ceasefire in Gaza Strip

The Qatar Red Crescent Society Office was also destroyed as was the Al Jalaa building which housed Qatar-based Al Jazeera offices, the Associated Press offices and residential units.

The Sheikh Hamad Hospital for Rehabilitation and Artificial Limbs, Gaza’s only prosthetic and disability rehab centre, also saw significant damage after being hit by Israel. Gaza’s biggest library was also destroyed.

The indiscriminate bombardment also caused destruction to the Strip’s main Covid-19 testing centre, as well as at least 15 other hospitals and health clinics.

Ongoing attacks against Palestinians

Despite the truce in Gaza, occupying Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque, firing rubber-coated steel bullets at worshippers who were performing Friday prayers as well as unarmed people celebrating the ceasefire.

The Palestinian Red Crescent has not disclosed figures on the number of injuries reported in the Friday attacks.

Meanwhile, Israel has also been accused of unlawfully blocking entry to the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied Jerusalem, placing cement barricades at its entrances while banning press and non-residents from entering.

Israeli forces also regularly ask Palestinians living in the neighbourhood for their IDs while allowing Jewish settlers in without at will.

The latest Israeli aggression started in Sheikh Jarrah after Palestinians protested attempts to ethnically cleanse the Jerusalem neighbourhood from its indigenous Arab inhabitants and make way for Jewish settlers.

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