Israel rejected Qatar’s Gaza proposal after Egypt opposed it

May 20, 2010
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A Qatari proposal to carry out rehabilitation work in the Gaza Strip in exchange for renewing diplomatic relations with Israel was rejected by Tel Aviv after Egypt made it clear that it would find such a deal “difficult to digest”.

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, Israel provided Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak with an outline of Qatar’s proposal, which would allow it the Arabian Gulf state to bring construction materials and other goods into the Strip.

The Qataris would have undertaken reconstruction of infrastructure and earned an Israeli declaration recognizing Qatar’s important status in the Middle East. In exchange, the Israeli diplomatic mission in Doha would re-open after Qatar had closed it during the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Israel rejected the Qatari proposal, seemingly after it heard the Egyptian opposition to teh deal.

Unnamed Egyptian sources cited by the paper said that Egypt would have been in a difficult position if Israel accepted the deal.

“Egypt has barred free passage of goods across its border into Gaza, despite criticism from other Arab countries and from the Egyptian public, and it would be inappropriate for Israel, in an effort to serve its own interests to harm these agreements and put Egypt in an impossible position of being the only party blocking the passage of goods into Gaza,” the sources said.

Relations between Qatar and Egypt are reportedly tense, in part because of the sharp criticism of Egypt and its Gaza policy voiced on pan-Arab station Al Jazeera.

Israeli officials explained the Israeli rejection of the Qatari proposal with “security reasons.”

They said that Hamas might use cement and building materials to build fortifications and positions from which to fire missiles at Israel.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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