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Qatar: monthly report April 2024

Tensions are observed in the relations between Qatar and the state of Israel. On Monday, April 1st, the parliament of Tel Aviv approved a law granting temporary powers to the government to suspend the activity of foreign networks in Israel. The so-called "Al-Jazeera law" was passed by the Knesset with 71 favorable votes and provides for the suspension of channels that pose a threat to national security for a period (renewable) of 45 days; shortly after the approval, Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi declared that Al-Jazeera in Israel would be closed in the coming days. "There will be no freedom of expression for Hamas spokespeople in this country," he added. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also supported the minister's position. This is not the first time the prime minister of the Jewish state has threatened to close the Qatari network. Already in 2017, Netanyahu attempted to stop Al-Jazeera's activities in Jerusalem for reasons of national security. The Israeli move was described as "worrying" by White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre, who stated that Washington supports the work of the press worldwide, including those reporting on events in the ongoing war in Gaza. At the same time, Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani stated that the emirate is reviewing its role as a mediator between the state of Israel and Hamas; according to Al Thani, the motivation lies in the abuse of Qatar's mediator role by the parties involved in the negotiations. "There are limits to the results we can achieve," the prime minister indicated during a meeting in Doha with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. On that occasion, the two discussed bilateral relations, tensions between Israel and Iran, and the war in Gaza. In this regard, according to reports from Turkish media, Fidan's visit aimed to keep the attention of regional powers on the war between Israel and Hamas. On the same day, Fidan met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. The latter discussed with the Turkish minister the situation in the Strip, emphasizing the need to increase the amount of humanitarian aid distributed to civilians. Fidan, for his part, indicated to Haniyeh the need to achieve a ceasefire.

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