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Netanyahu and several Israeli politicians say Qatar's role in hostage negotiation efforts is 'problematic'

Qatar Foreign Ministry says it is 'appalled' by Israel's alleged criticism, calls remarks 'destructive' but 'not surprising'

Qatar Foreign Ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari (Photo: Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry expressed condemnation over recent statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding Qatar’s role in hostage negotiation efforts. 

In a leaked audio recording, aired on Israeli TV on Tuesday, Netanyahu can be heard calling Qatar’s involvement “problematic.” 

Addressing the cabinet, Netanyahu said: “When I talk about Qatar, you don't hear me thanking Qatar. Have you noticed?” 

“I don't thank Qatar,” Netanyahu continued. “Why? Because Qatar, as far as I'm concerned, is not fundamentally different from the UN, it's not fundamentally different from the Red Cross, and in a certain sense it's even more problematic.” 

In the same discussion, the prime minister expressed his regarding Washington's decision to renew its contract on its military facilities in Doha, Qatar. 

In response, Qatari Foreign Ministry Spokesman Majed Al-Ansari posted a statement to X (formerly Twitter) condemning Netanyahu’s remarks. 

“We are appalled by the alleged remarks attributed to the Israeli Prime Minister in various media reports about Qatar’s mediation role. These remarks if validated, are irresponsible and destructive to the efforts to save innocent lives, but are not surprising.” 

Al-Ansari stated that Qatar’s efforts had led to the successful release of over 100 of Israel's hostages in the previous deal in November.

The foreign ministry spokesman said Netanyahu’s statements, if true, would “undermine mediation efforts, for political reasons.” 

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich backed Netanyahu’s position, saying, “Qatar is a state that supports terrorism and finances terrorism,” and called Qatar “the patron of Hamas and is largely responsible for the massacre carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians.” 

“The West’s attitude towards her [Qatar] is hypocritical and based on unacceptable economic interests,” Smotrich said. “Qatar will not be involved in what happens in Gaza the day after the war.”  

Qatar is a significant backer of Hamas and has reportedly provided the terror organization with $1.8 billion since 2007. In addition, Qatar has hosted several Hamas senior leaders for several years. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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