“O Qatar is a country that supports and finances terrorism,” said Bezalel Smotrich, directly accusing Doha.
The emirate “is the sponsor of Hamas and is mainly responsible for the massacres committed by Hamas against Israeli citizens”, also declared, leader of the Religious Zionism party that is part of the Israeli Government.
“One thing is certain: Qatar will not be involved in any way in what happens in Gaza after the war,” added the minister in a message posted on the social network X.
Debate in Israel over how best to secure the release of hostages still held by Hamas is escalating as military operations intensify in the southern Gaza Strip.
Qatar, Egypt and the United States are trying to mediate the situation to reach a new truce, allow the release of the hostages still being held and provide more humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territory.
On Wednesday, Israel’s Channel 12 broadcast a recording of a dialogue between the Israeli prime minister and family members of the hostages, in which Benjamin Netanyahu describes Doha’s role as “problematic”.
“I have no illusions about them,” Netanyahu declared in the same voice, accusing the emirate of financing the Palestinian Islamist movement.
Qatar said it was “shocked, calling Netanyahu’s comments “irresponsible and harmful to efforts to save innocent lives.”
Doha hosts the political leadership of Hamas and, in recent years, has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the population of Gaza, which has been under the movement’s control since 2007.
The ongoing war was triggered by an unprecedented attack by Hamas on Israeli soil, on October 7 last year, which caused the deaths of more than 1,140 people, most of them civilians, according to a count by France-Presse (AFP) based on official data.
Around 250 people were abducted, of which a hundred were released at the end of November during a truce.
According to the same AFP count, 132 hostages are still in the territory and 28 of them have died.
Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas and launched a vast military operation that killed 25,700 Palestinians, most of them women, children and teenagers, according to the Ministry of Health of the movement that controls the enclave.
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