The emir of Qatar has called on the international community to restrain Israel in its fight against Hamas, saying Israeli forces should not be given a green light for unconditional killing in the besieged Gaza Strip.
In his opening speech at the Shura council’s annual session on Tuesday, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also said the continuing war was a dangerous escalation that threatened the region.
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“We are saying enough is enough,” he said. “It is untenable for Israel to be given an unconditional green light and free licence to kill, nor it is tenable to continue ignoring the reality of occupation, siege and settlement.”
The emir went on to condemn the violence against innocent civilians on both sides, but also faulted the international community for “double standards” and “acting as if Palestinian children’s lives are not worth to be reckoned with, as though they are faceless or nameless”.
Sheikh Tamim’s latest comments on the conflict came more than two weeks after Israel launched a devastating campaign of air raids on Gaza after Hamas fighters carried out a surprise attack on southern Israel.
More than 1,400 people were killed in the Hamas attack, mostly civilians, according to Israeli authorities. Israel has since bombarded Gaza relentlessly, killing more than 5,000 people, 40 percent of whom are children, according to Palestinian officials. It has also imposed a “complete siege” on the territory, cutting supplies of food, water and fuel.
“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 Qatari emir said, as he called for an end to this war that “has transcended all limits”.
On Monday, Hamas said it had freed two hostages taken into the Gaza Strip from Israel for “compelling humanitarian” reasons following mediation by Qatar and Egypt.