newsIsrael at War

‘US taps Hamas ally Qatar to build port in Gaza’

Qatar agreed to take charge of the port on condition that the construction work go to the Al-Hisi firm, "a company controlled and sponsored by Hamas," according to Israeli journalist Baruch Yedid.

U.S. soldiers with the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) ready the USAV SP4 James A. Loux to deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. on March 12, 2024. Credit: Joseph Clark/U.S. Department of Defense.
U.S. soldiers with the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) ready the USAV SP4 James A. Loux to deploy from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. on March 12, 2024. Credit: Joseph Clark/U.S. Department of Defense.

At America’s request, Hamas ally Qatar has agreed to take charge of operating and financing the temporary pier on its way from the United States to the Gaza coast, Israel’s Channel 14 reported on Tuesday.

Qatar consented to run the port on condition that the construction work go to the Al-Hisi firm, “a company controlled and sponsored by Hamas,” according to Channel 14 correspondent Baruch Yedid, citing Arab media reports following a meeting in Cyprus between diplomatic officials from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates several days ago.

“Qatar has an interest in this port. Qatar wants to preserve Hamas,” he said. “Qatar also wants leverage over Hamas.”

Qatar is a key financial backer of the terror group and has sent millions monthly to prop it up. Since 2012, the Gulf State has pumped an estimated $1.8 billion dollars into Gaza, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Qatar also hosts senior Hamas leaders.

Although Israel has accepted Qatar as a key negotiator in hostage talks, members of Israel’s government have said Qatar will play no part in Gaza’s post-Hamas future. However, when Israel expressed to the United States its opposition to Qatari involvement in the pier, it was rebuffed, according to Yedid.

“We’ve arrived at a situation where the Qataris have control because they’re financing. For Hamas, it’s good because it’s their company,” said Yedid. “The whole idea was to isolate Hamas as a whole. Here, once again is Qatari-American cooperation and [Hamas] isn’t isolated.”

Ironically, Hamas was at first against the building of the pier, which it saw as a way for Israel to establish long-term control over Gaza, Yedid noted.

Israeli leaders initially expressed support for the pier, which the United States sent on March 12, arguing that it would serve to divert humanitarian aid from Hamas, undermining the terror’s group’s dwindling but still active presence in the Strip.

It will “help lead to the collapse of the Hamas regime,” said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on March 10.

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