Qatar Says Efforts Continue to Renew Gaza Ceasefire as Israel Continues Bombardment

Sun Dec 10 2023
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DOHA: Qatar’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, said on Sunday that mediation efforts are continuing in the pursuit of a new ceasefire agreement in Gaza, despite the relentless Israeli bombardment. The prime minister maintained that ongoing fighting in Gaza is “narrowing the window” for a successful resolution.

Speaking at the Doha Forum more than two months into the Israeli offensive in Gaza, Sheikh Mohammed expressed Qatar’s commitment to ongoing negotiations and emphasized that the state, along with its partners, will not give up on their efforts.

Qatar played a key role in mediating previous negotiations that resulted in a seven-day truce, marked by the exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip. However, this truce ended at the beginning of the month, and the conflict has since escalated.

Qatar’s PM Highlights Challenges to Gaza Ceasefire

The prime minister acknowledged the challenging circumstances, stating, “We are going to continue, we are committed to having hostages released, but we are also committed to stopping the war.” He voiced concern over the apparent lack of willingness from both parties and expressed that the continuing Israeli bombardment is making the diplomatic window for a resolution increasingly narrow.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the Doha Forum, highlighting the challenges faced by the Security Council. He noted that geostrategic divisions were paralyzing the council and undermining potential solutions to the conflict. Guterres also expressed disappointment at the Security Council’s failure to declare a humanitarian ceasefire, reiterating his appeal for such a ceasefire.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, speaking at the forum, placed responsibility for civilian deaths in Gaza on the United States as much as on Israel. He criticized the US for blocking a United Nations Security Council resolution and held them accountable for the ongoing violence.

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi accused Israel of dragging the region “deeper into the sea of death,” expressing concern about the destructive path the conflict is taking.


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