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Qatar: Emir calls for UN action to end Israeli occupation 

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani in Tehran, Iran on 12 January 2020 [Iran's Leader Press Office/Anadolu Agency]
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha, Qatar on 8 December 2019 [Qatar Emirate Council/Anadolu Agency]

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, condemned the international community at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) yesterday for its lack of "effective action to confront Israeli intransigence and its continued occupation of Palestinian and Arab land."

Speaking during the online meeting, the Qatari leader said that countries and international organisations are failing to uphold UN Resolutions against the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and its continued building and expansion of illegal settlements.

"[Israel is guilty of the] flagrant violation of international resolutions and the two-state solution as agreed upon by the international community," said Sheikh Tamim. "Peace can only be achieved when Israel fully commits to the international terms of reference and resolutions that are accepted by the Arab countries and upon which the Arab Peace Initiative is based."

Under the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, Arab nations declared that Israel would only receive "normalised" ties in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital, as well as a just solution for Palestinian refugees and an end to the illegal occupation.

READ: PLO commends Qatar, Algeria for rejecting normalisation with Israel

The Emir urged the international community, particularly the UN Security Council, to pursue its legal responsibilities and "compel Israel to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, and to put the peace process back on track through credible negotiations based on international resolutions and not on force."

His call for urgent action comes a week after the UAE and Bahrain signed normalisation deals with Israel at the White House. Last week, a spokesperson for Qatar's Foreign Ministry ruled out normalising relations with Israel, saying that it was not the answer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to Abu Dhabi, however, the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv's planned annexation of the occupied West Bank. Opponents point out that normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country even though it had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.

In any case, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied that annexation has been cancelled, insisting that it is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.

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