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Qatar is reassessing its position as a mediator in negotiations for a cease-fire in Gaza

Qatar is currently reconsidering its role as a mediator in the cease-fire negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, also the foreign minister, expressed concerns about the misuse of Qatar’s mediation efforts for narrow political gains. This prompted Qatar to conduct a thorough evaluation of its mediation role.

Although Sheikh Mohammed did not specify any politicians by name, Qatar’s embassy in Washington criticized remarks made by Democratic congressman Steny Hoyer. Hoyer called for a reevaluation of the U.S.’s relationship with Qatar, urging Qatar to pressure Hamas with threats of repercussions if it obstructs progress towards a temporary ceasefire and the release of hostages.

Accusations have been made by some U.S. lawmakers that Qatar supports Hamas, a claim vehemently denied by Qatar. Notably, Qatar hosts around 10,000 U.S. troops, representing the largest U.S. military presence in the Middle East.

Sheikh Mohammed emphasized the limitations of the mediator’s role, stating that mediators cannot offer concessions that the involved parties themselves are unwilling to provide.

Regarding the ongoing cease-fire talks and hostage release negotiations, Sheikh Mohammed described them as being in a delicate phase. Qatar is exerting efforts to address obstacles to progress, although specific details were not disclosed.

Furthermore, Qatar’s prime minister condemned Israel’s policy of what he described as “collective punishment” in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza. He also denounced the recent escalation of violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The discussions for a cease-fire in Gaza, facilitated by Qatar and Egypt, occur amid a dire humanitarian situation in the region. Palestinians in Gaza are facing severe shortages of essential supplies, including food and medicine.

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