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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Saudi, Emirati figures use forged document to slander Palestine’s Haniyeh visit to Qatar

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The invoice claimed that the Palestinian officials spent over a million dollars during his 11 day stay in Doha. 

A ‘fake’ hotel invoice allegedly suggesting that the Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh paid over one million dollars for his stay in Doha has circulated on social media in recent days.

The invoice, shared by several Saudi and UAE figures on Twitter, claimed the Palestinian official and his team stayed in 4 royal suites, 26 royal rooms, and used several other services, some of which were not even open due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The alleged invoice comes to a total of $1,045,604.70.

The #UAE’s disinformation network is attacking Qatar again – this fake invoice is supposedly showing Hamas’ Haniyeh’s hotel bill in Doha during #Gaza_Under_Attack – Qatar was in lockdown and spas were closed – plus I am sure his name wouldn’t be on the bill,” Dr. Andreas Krieg, CEO of MENA analytica, tweeted. 

However, critics failed to see obvious errors presented in the invoice itself, the first of which is the added “5% tax” worth $49,790.70. Per Qatari law, the country does not have a tax policy for hotel stays.

Meanwhile, the Mandarin Oriental in Doha does not have four royal suites; only one is available at the facility.

The invoice also states the official and his team used the SPA and MO Club at the hotel for a total of $26,589.00. However, all SPA services were closed due to strict Covid-19 restrictions imposed in early April.

It also appears that the Arabic address at the bottom of the invoice is incorrect, an error that must’ve been missed in translation. The term “Wast Al Balad” or centre of town, is not a commonly used phrase in Qatar.

Eekad, an online platform that verifies information using advanced technology and coding, has revealed further information regarding the invoice’s inaccuracy.

By using advanced systems that expose picture manipulations, the platform was able to detect that the image was edited through Adobe Photoshop.

The system disclosed that photoshop was used to add the hotel logo and edit the “tax” and “sub-total” category in the invoice.

The team also revealed that the name signed in the invoice, Sameer Saber, is not available in any of the hotel’s employment databases, which means no one by that name works for the hotel.

Hamas talks in Qatar

Earlier this month, the Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh who visited Doha 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.

“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.

Since May 10, Israeli airstrikes and missile attacks have destroyed several schools, homes, healthcare facilities, buildings that housed media offices in Gaza and many more.


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