The oil-rich Gulf state of Qatar’s influence has been widely felt during the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Qatar’s ties to Hamas have drawn increasing criticism from Israel, the United States, and even fellow Arab states like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who accuse Qatar of undermining regional stability by supporting Hamas, as detailed in a recently published article by JNS.org.
Oddly, however, Globes is now reporting that Qatar, which will host the World Cup in 2022, is also planning to donate NIS 8 million to Israeli Ligat Ha'al (Premier League) soccer team Bnei Sakhnin.
"The team's bank account has already been credited with $500,000, which is only part of the sum promised to us during a visit to Qatar,” Sakhnin Mayor Mazin Gnayem, formerly the chairman of Bnei Sakhnin, told Globes.
"Even before the war broke out I went together with a member of the team's management for a meeting in the Qatar palace of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (the Emir of Qatar) in which he promised NIS 8 million for Bnei Sakhnin and NIS 8 million for Achi Nazareth. The amount transferred now is just an advance," said Gnayem.