Qatar holds World Cup events in West Bank, Gaza Strip

The Qatar Committee for Reconstruction of Gaza will hold events to show the 2022 FIFA World Cup matches in the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank.

Qatar is spreading the World Cup spirit to Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by setting up viewing halls for the population living under Israeli occupation, Doha’s state news agency (QNA) reported on Saturday.

The initiative, led by the Qatar Committee for Reconstruction of Gaza, involves showing World Cup matches at the Martyr Saad Sayl hall in the heart of the city. 

Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip will also get to take part in numerous World Cup activities, according to the Qatar News Agency.

Palestinians in the West Bank will also be able to watch the matches at the Absa Sports Hall in the Ramallah recreational complex, where other World Cup-related events are set to take place in support of Qatar’s national football team.

The initiative comes under Qatar’s efforts in ensuring a World Cup for all populations, especially Palestinians living under the ongoing Israeli occupation. The efforts also reflect the importance of the Palestinian cause, which has been at the heart of Qatar’s foreign policy.

More than 8,000 Palestinians have also been approved to travel to the World Cup.

Qatar’s support for Palestine

On Friday, Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Al-Khater reaffirmed that Palestine will be present in Doha’s “conscience” throughout the World Cup.

“We expect to celebrate [the World Cup] with thousands of our brothers and sisters from Palestine and we affirm here that their cause and our just cause in Palestine will always remain present in our conscience,” Al-Khater said, while taking aim at crimes committed by the Israeli occupation.

Qatar has repeatedly ruled out normalisation with Israel for its ongoing crimes against Palestinians.

In September, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani slammed Israel’s occupation of Palestine in an interview with French outlet Le Point.

“Every country has the right to establish relations with the countries it wants. But what is normalisation with Israel? Seriously, are things normal in Israel? No!” Sheikh Tamim told France’s Le Point.

More recently, Qatar has refused to allow Israel to run a temporary consulate in Doha during the World Cup.

Instead, Israeli citizens will access consular services via a privately-operated international travel company located in an office building.

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