HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani has said that the humanitarian, ethical, and legal catastrophe in the Gaza Strip continues to worsen after nearly a month and a half since the Israeli aggression began in the Strip, amid the international community's inability to stop the bloodshed and curb the aggression.
During a press conference held Sunday with High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union Josep Borrell, HE Sheikh Mohamed said that the meeting discussed ways to enhance co-operation between Qatar and the EU to reach a permanent and peaceful solution to this crisis in all its political and humanitarian dimensions.
He emphasised that at the top of the priorities is an immediate cessation of the firing and all retaliatory operations and indiscriminate attacks on the Gaza Strip, ending the genocidal acts, starvation, and forced displacement, and lifting the oppressive blockade imposed on the Strip for many years, in blatant violation of international law and humanitarian principles.
HE Sheikh Mohamed added that this tragic situation, with all the cruelty, horror, and brutality that the word implies, has resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries, coercive mass displacement of hundreds of thousands, in addition to depriving two and a half million Palestinians of water, food, fuel, electricity, and medicine, adding that the world is witnessing the occupation army bragging about destroying hospitals and forcing the sick, wounded, doctors and displaced people to leave at gunpoint, and justifying it with unproven allegations.
He said that the past few days saw the targeting of all the hospitals in the Gaza Strip and witnessed, before the eyes and ears of the entire world, the theatrical performances carried out by the occupying army in these hospitals, claiming that they are places used by the leadership of the Hamas movement.
HE Sheikh Mohamed stressed that what happened at Al-Shifa Medical Complex, the largest facility in the Gaza Strip, with the forced evacuation of hundreds of patients, dozens of newborns, medical staff, and thousands of displaced individuals, constitutes a crime that was not condemned by the international community, not to mention the ongoing massacres against civilians, the latest of which was the massacre that occurred Saturday at the the UN-affiliated Al-Fakhoora School with no respect for international laws and norms.
He called for an international stance to address this issue in accordance with international laws and norms, stating that many countries have a double standard regarding what is happening to the brothers in the Gaza Strip.
He urged the international community to adhere to its foundations of respecting international law, international conventions, and treaties and to respect and protect civilians in Gaza, as is the case for civilians anywhere else in the world.
HE Sheikh Mohamed praised the call of the EU High Representative for a humanitarian ceasefire, urging Israel to comply with the Security Council's resolution and implement the provisions therein, including opening humanitarian corridors and halting the war. He pointed out the constant Israeli shelling of all civilian facilities in the Gaza Strip that didn't even spare schools and hospitals. The targeting of the Qatar Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza headquarters is another example of the lack of attention for such institutions, whose goal is to provide humanitarian support for the brethren in the Strip, in addition to using flimsy excuses for destroying such facilities.
HE Sheikh Mohamed stressed that Qatar had called several times for the formation of international investigation committees to look into Israeli allegations regarding the use of schools and hospitals for military purposes, however, there has been no movement in this direction.
In this context, he called for the necessity of forming an international committee to investigate crimes committed against civilians in the Gaza Strip.
He said that the headquarters of the Qatar Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza is significant to Qatar and represents its efforts in the Gaza Strip. However, the building is not more important than the hospital, schools, and shelters that are being destroyed daily and are sheltering tens of thousands of our brethren in the Strip.
HE Sheikh Mohamed expressed his confidence that an agreement on the exchange deal between Israel and Hamas is near, pointing out that there are some simple logistical and practical challenges that are not fundamental and can be overcome.
He stressed the need to stop the war and open humanitarian corridors to bring in aid, noting that people in the Gaza Strip are suffering from hunger and do not have clean water or electricity, in addition to the lack of fuel in hospitals.
For his part, Borrell praised the regional and international efforts made by Qatar in this crisis, indicating that his meeting comes within the framework of discussing the deteriorating regional situation and the necessity to stop the sufferings of the innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip, where pain and suffering are currently concentrated.
He stressed the need to make further joint efforts to overcome the challenges that hinder reaching a solution between the two sides. In this context, he praised the constructive role played by Qatar as a regionally influential country in supporting peace and stability, and which has been able to impose itself as an intermediary and essential country in the world and not just in the Middle East, which confirms that Qatar plays a fundamental role in bringing peace and liberating peoples.
Borrell said that his discussions with HE Sheikh Mohamed focused on the issue of the hostages held captive by Hamas since Oct 7, with Qatar playing a facilitating and essential role in efforts to release them. In this context, he called for the "unconditional" release of the hostages and to allow the Red Cross and Red Crescent to reach them.
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