Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas thanked the State of Qatar yesterday for its support for the Palestinian cause during its hosting of the FIFA World Cup, Wafa has reported. Abbas sent a message congratulating the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, on the success of the tournament, which ended on Sunday with Argentina crowned champions after defeating France.
“The World Cup in Qatar brought pride to our souls and the souls of our Arab nations,” said Abbas. He praised Qatar and the “civilised, organised and humanitarian” organisation of the tournament “in a manner which is a historic addition to Qatar’s many achievements, as well as the support provided during this occasion to Palestine, presenting the Palestinian cause to the world in an unprecedented way.”
The Palestinian flag was displayed frequently in the stands during the opening ceremony of the tournament and matches. Many fans wore the Palestinian keffiyeh.
“The Qatar World Cup has restored the fact that the Palestinian cause is central to the Arab and Muslim worlds and to the other nations around the world, and that the issue is still alive in the hearts of the Ummah and all free people in the world,” commented Wafa. “The widespread solidarity with the cause was the strongest confirmation of its justice and clear support for the legitimate Palestinian rights.”
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, also said that Qatar contributed to bringing the issue of Palestine back to the forefront during the World Cup. “The real winner in the 2022 World Cup is the State of Qatar, as it dazzled the world by producing the tournament at this wonderful level,” tweeted spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. “Qatar genuinely expressed the nation’s identity and civilisation, and contributed to bringing the issue of Palestine back to the top. Congratulations, Qatar. You deserve to be proud of this wonderful achievement.”
Social media has enabled video clips to be shared of Arab fans refusing to speak to Israeli journalists in Qatar, and pointing out that, “It’s not Israel. It’s Palestine.”