DOHA (AFP) – The Qatari ruler hit out at Israel’s backers on Tuesday, charging they had given it “free licence to kill” in its war with Hamas and questioning what the conflict would achieve.
Major powers, including the United States (US), Britain and France, have rallied to support Israel and affirmed its right to defend itself after this month’s deadly attack by the Palestinian group.
Hamas militants stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, killing at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking 222 hostages, according to Israeli officials.
More than 5,000 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed across the Gaza Strip in relentless Israeli bombardments in retaliation for the attack, according to the territory’s Hamas-run Health Ministry.
“We are saying enough is enough,” Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani told a meeting of the Shura Council, Qatar’s legislative body, according to a translation released by the royal court.
“It is untenable for Israel to be given an unconditional green light and free licence to kill, nor is it tenable to continue ignoring the reality of occupation, siege and settlement.”
Qatar, a US ally which hosts a large US military base, also hosts an office of Hamas which doubles as the main residence of its self-exiled leader Ismail Haniyeh.
The wealthy Gulf monarchy has acted as a communications channel with Hamas and is playing a key role in negotiations to release the hostages, with four freed so far.
“It should not be allowed in our time to use cutting off water and preventing medicine and food as weapons against an entire population,” the emir said, referring to Israel’s siege of Gaza.
“We call for an earnest regional and international stance vis-a-vis this dangerous escalation that we are witnessing, and which threatens the security of the region and the world.”
He added: “We would like to ask those who have aligned with the war, and those acting to gag any dissenting opinion: what would come in the aftermath of this war?
“Would it bring security and stability to Israelis and Palestinians? Where would the Palestinians head for afterwards?”
The leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the US have all visited Israel since October 7.