newsIsrael at War

Qatar ‘re-evaluating’ position as mediator in hostage talks

Qatar's premier said his country's position was being "misused" for "narrow political interests."

Doha, Qatar. Credit: GooseB/Pixabay.
Doha, Qatar. Credit: GooseB/Pixabay.

Qatari Prime Minister Muhammad Al Thani announced on Wednesday that Doha is “reevaluating” its position as mediator between Israel and Hamas, citing “misuse of this mediation for narrow political interests.”

“Our position is being misused by politicians for their own purposes,” said Al Thani, who also serves as Qatar’s foreign minister, according to Reuters.

Qatar’s embassy in Washington on Tuesday criticized remarks by U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who said that the United States should “reevaluate” its relationship with Doha over the stalled hostage negotiations with Hamas.

Qatar should threaten Hamas with “repercussions” if the terror group “continues to block progress towards releasing the hostages and establishing a temporary ceasefire,” said Hoyer.

Negotiations with the Gaza-based terror group had hit a sensitive stage, Al Thani said on Wednesday.

While Israel has shown flexibility in the talks, Hamas has impeded an agreement, U.S. State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller said on Monday.

“Israel moved a significant way” in submitting its most recent proposal, Miller said during a press briefing. “There was a deal on the table that would achieve much of what Hamas claims it wants to achieve, and they have not taken that deal.”

Hamas has dropped the number of hostages it is willing to release in the first stage of any deal with Israel from 40 to 20. The terrorist organization is also demanding the release of more hardened terrorists and a higher ratio of jailed Palestinian terrorists released per Israeli abductee freed.

Hamas on Saturday reaffirmed its demand for “a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of the occupation army from the entire Gaza Strip, the return of the displaced to their areas and places of residence, intensification of the entry of relief and aid and the start of reconstruction.”

On Wednesday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog reiterated the Jewish state’s “unequivocal” commitment to defending its people, including by working for “the immediate return home of all the hostages held in captivity by Hamas in Gaza.”

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