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Israel opposes Qatar’s participation in building, operating Gaza pier

March 21, 2024 at 9:51 am

A view of the construction site as works for a temporary port off Gaza are ongoing on March 15, 2024. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

Israel yesterday announced that it has informed the United States of its opposition to Qatar’s involvement in building and operating a floating pier in the Gaza Strip that will bring humanitarian aid into the Strip.

Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said the US had invited Qatar to be involved in constructing the pier in spite of Tel Aviv’s objection.

The paper quoted a senior Israeli official as saying that “the American administration did not care about Israel’s opposition and announced that it sees Qatar as part of the floating pier project in Gaza,” adding that “Qatari involvement in a port in Gaza would be a dream come true for Hamas and it is too bad that Israel missed the gravity of the situation in time to stop it.”

According to the paper, Israel participated in a joint phone last week with the foreign ministers of the United States, Qatar, Cyprus, Britain, the UAE, the European Union, and the United Nations, aimed at coordinating the operation of the sea corridor to Gaza.

“The Americans are moving forward with this project. There is coordination between Israel and Cyprus, and there is the American project to establish a floating pier, and they decided to include Qatar in this project despite our conservative position. It remains only to hope that this will be prevented in the end, and it is forbidden to grant Qatar control in any port in Gaza,” the official added.

Qatar has long been a lifeline for the Palestinians of Gaza, providing regular injections of much needed financial aid to poor families and those who had lost their homes in Israel’s 2014 bombing campaign and remained in makeshift accommodation until the start of this latest round of bombardment.

The aid was also sent and distributed with Israel’s approval.

Israel is, however, now working to discredit and bring into question all lifelines which Gaza has used to survive its almost two-decade long siege in an apparent effort to make the Strip uninhabitable and force Palestinians out to make way for resettlement by Israeli occupation settlers.

It first took aim at UNRWA, the UN body set up to provide relief aid, medical, education and other services to refugees of 1948 Palestine and their families, and appears to now be turning its sights to Qatar.

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