Qatar marks Palestinian solidarity day with celebrations, vows of continued support

The Gulf state has long backed Palestinians and regularly condemned Israel’s crimes. 

Qatar on Tuesday joined global celebrations marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, renewing its solid stance “in the face of the Israeli occupation”.

Senior diplomats from the Gulf state reiterated Qatar’s unwavering support for the Palestinian cause, as the indigenous population continues to live under the occupation of Israel, whose forces carry out harrowing violations against them on a daily basis.

“Over the years, Qatar has been supporting the steadfastness of the brotherly Palestinian people in the face of the Israeli occupation, by supporting in various sectors to limit the deterioration of the difficult living conditions in the occupied territories,” Doha’s foreign ministry said.

The foreign ministry went on to highlight its efforts in helping Palestinians, by generating jobs for them and supplying the besieged Gaza Strip with much-needed fuel and reconstruction funds.

Mohammed Al Khulaifi, Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister for Regional Affairs, said that Doha “affirms its solidarity and full support for the brotherly Palestinian people”.

Echoing Al Khulaifi’s sentiment,  Dr. Majed Al-Ansari , Spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, said Doha’s stance towards justice for Palestine is at “the cornerstone” of the country’s foreign policy.

“Palestine’s popular presence during the World Cup through flags, badges and chants is the best proof that the cause is alive in the hearts of Arab and justice-loving masses across the world,” Dr. Al-Ansari said, commenting on the nationwide pro-Palestine campaign throughout the tournament.

Meanwhile, an event took place in Doha to mark the international day, where Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Al-Khater was seen wearing the Palestinian scarf, known as the keffiyeh. 

The black and white checkered scarf became widely worn as a form of resistance against Israeli occupation.

In a video, Al-Khater said, “God willing, one day we will see that justice has been achieved on Palestine’s land.”

On 29 November 1977, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) called for observing the international day of solidarity. On the same day in 1947, the UNGA partitioned Palestine, a move that paved the way for Jewish settlements to expand.

At the time, Jewish immigrants were given 55% of the entire size of Palestine, leading up to further land theft.

Between 1947 until 1949, at least 750,000 Palestinian from a 1.9 million native population were forced out of their own land by Zionists militias who later established Israel. To date, Palestinians live under occupation and daily human rights violations, from arrests of both adults and minors, to killings.

Qatar’s support for Palestine

The Gulf state has long supported Palestinians while regularly condemning Israel’s crimes. 

Earlier this month, Qatar was among the countries that voted in favour of a draft resolution titled “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”.

The UNGA adopted the draft resolution , which requested a legal opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) “on the nature of the existence” of the Israeli occupation.

Unlike some of its neighbours, namely the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Qatar has also refused to normalise with Israel, remaining committed to the Arab Peace Initiative.

Adopted in 2002, the policy mandates that Gulf Cooperation Council members refrain from normalising relations with Israel until it completely withdraws from territories it occupied in 1967.

In July, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani warned that tensions and instability in the Middle East will continue as long as Israel’s violations of international law in Palestine persist.

“The most major source of tension and instability will linger unless Israel stop its practices and violations of international law reflected in building settlements, changing Jerusalem’s character and continuing to impose a siege on Gaza,” the amir told the Jeddah Security and Development Summit.

Sheikh Tamim’s remarks were made at the high-profile meeting in Saudi Arabia, attended by leaders of the GCC+3—Jordan, Iraq and Egypt—as well as US President Joe Biden.

“The dangers looming over the Middle East region in light of the tense international situation require finding a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause, which occupies a central position among the peoples of our Arab and Islamic worlds and the forces of peace worldwide, because it is a just cause with a heavy symbolic weight at the same time,” he added.

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