All Israel

Qatari emir accuses Israel of 'genocide,' says time running out for returning hostages

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (Photo: Shutterstick)

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, said that time is running out to secure the release of Israeli hostages in Gaza.

“We are in a race against time to bring the hostages back to their families and at the same time we must work to put an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people,” the emir said at a state dinner in France on Tuesday evening.

He continued by accusing Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza.

“The world sees a genocide of the Palestinian people. Hunger, forced displacement, savage bombardments are used as weapons. And the international community still hasn’t managed to adopt a unified position to end the war in Gaza and provide the strict minimum of protection for children, women, and civilians,” the emir stated, alongside his translator.

Al Thani, who acceded to the throne in 2013, made these remarks during first state visit to France since coming into power.

Qatar has played a central role as mediator in the negotiations to free Israeli hostages abducted into Gaza by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, or what Israelis call the "Black Shabbat."

On that day, approximately 3,000 Palestinian terrorists stormed the border from Gaza, invading southern Israeli communities and committing horrific atrocities, including murder, torture, rape and abductions into the Gaza Strip.

Qatar has been performing as a mediator in the negotiations despite playing host to senior Hamas leaders and providing financial support to the terrorist organization, reportedly funding Hamas with at least $360 million every year.

The emir’s speech in France came as international media reported that U.S. President Joe Biden was optimistic a hostage deal and a ceasefire could be reached before Ramadan, which begins on March 10.

“My hope is that by next Monday [March 4] we’ll have a ceasefire,” Biden told reporters.

Senior Israeli officials were much less optimistic, saying that the proposed deal agreed upon in Paris by Israel, American, Egyptian and Qatari mediators on Friday “doesn’t correspond with Hamas demands.”

On Tuesday, however, Israel’s public broadcaster quoted an Israeli official as being “very cautiously optimistic” after the TV station said that Qatar had updated Israel on Hamas' response to parts of the proposed deal. The official, however, stressed that there were still “large gaps” between the sides.

According to a report by Channel 12 news on Tuesday, the U.S. proposed a deal that would involve a six-week ceasefire and the release of 40 Israeli hostages from Gaza. In exchange, Israel would need to release approximately 400 Palestinian security prisoners currently serving sentences in Israeli jails.

The deal specifically proposes the release of 21 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the seven Israeli women who were supposed to have been released during the last truce, but whom Hamas refused to free at the last moment.

Another 90 security prisoners, 15 of whom Israel considers to be major terrorists with blood on their hands, including several mass murderers, would be released in exchange for five Israeli women soldiers held hostage.

In addition, 90 of the Palestinian prisoners would be released in exchange for 15 men being held hostage who are over the age of 50.

Another 156 prisoners would be exchanged for 13 Israeli male hostages who are reported to be ill or injured.

The last round in the negotiations would include 40 Palestinian security prisoners who were freed in 2011 (as part of the hostage release deal for the kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit) but subsequently rearrested after performing additional terror activities. It is unclear whether terrorists who participated in the Oct. 7 massacre would be included in that wave of the "hostage-for-prisoners" release.

According to Israeli media, Hamas has not provided the names of the hostages in Gaza who are still alive, although the Israeli government reportedly believes a quarter of the 134 hostages still in Gaza are already dead. In addition, Hamas has allegedly not provided a list of the terrorists it demands to be released in the deal.

Israeli sources say that negotiations cannot move forward without those two pieces of information.  

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

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories