Qatar Reevaluates Role as Hamas Mediator

Latest Developments

Doha is reevaluating its role as a mediator between Hamas and Israel, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on April 17. Al Thani claimed that Qatar “has seen the misuse of this mediation and its employment for narrow political interests,” which “has necessitated a comprehensive evaluation by Qatar of its role,” according to a Qatari government readout. The Qatari emir further “lamented the political exploitation” of Doha’s diplomatic services by politicians who advance “their electoral campaigns through the defamation of Qatar’s role.”

Al Thani did not name any officials, but U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) issued a statement on April 15 urging Qatar to “make it clear to Hamas that there will be repercussions” if the terrorist group “continues to block progress toward” a hostage deal. “If Qatar fails to apply this pressure,” Hoyer said, “the United States must reevaluate its relationship with Qatar.” Qatar’s embassy in Washington pushed back on April 16, insisting that Doha does “not control Israel or Hamas” and warning that “blaming and threatening the mediator is not constructive.”

Expert Analysis

“Qatar has never been a mediator between Israel and Hamas; it is an advocate for Hamas in negotiations with Israel. What we need to see is Qatar reassess its role as a sponsor and host of Hamas. Until that day comes, the United States should reassess its relationship with Qatar.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“Qatar’s goal is to preserve Hamas’s rule in the Gaza Strip. The Qataris’ threat to reevaluate their role as a mediator in negotiations should not viewed as genuine but rather as a deceitful tactic aimed at exerting pressure on the United States and Israel in favor of Hamas.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Qatar Sponsors Hamas

Qatar sided with Hamas and endorsed its takeover of Gaza in 2007. Since then, Doha has provided political and financial assistance to the Islamist group, pumping an estimated $1.5 billion into Gaza’s Hamas-run government between 2012 and 2021. Hamas also maintains a political office in Doha, where several of the group’s senior leaders live in luxury. Qatar’s state-sponsored media channel, Al-Jazeera, has justified Palestinian terrorism, spread antisemitism, and demonized Israel with its global reach.

Qatar said it held “Israel alone responsible” for Hamas’s October 7 terrorist attack, ignoring Hamas’s war crimes and falsely accusing Israel of violating international law. Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Combatting Antisemitism Amichai Chikli told The Jerusalem Post on December 5 that involving Qatar in hostage negotiations is “as if the U.S. would turn to Pakistan, which once harbored Bin Laden, for moderation on behalf of itself.”

April Report Finds Qatar Not an Honest Broker

On April 8, The Times of Israel revealed that a group of veteran American and Israeli intelligence professionals believe Qatar should not mediate between Hamas and Israel. Their report, which draws on English, Arabic, and French sources, concludes that Qatar is “not an independent mediator” and “benefits directly from the bloodshed and geopolitical fallout and unrest that result from its policies.” The document, prepared on behalf of lawyers for the families of victims of Hamas’s October 7 massacre, also alleges that Qatar enabled the attack by sponsoring the terrorist group politically and financially. “Qatari funding and policies led directly to October 7,” it states.

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