Abu Dhabi: Qatar’s emir, who visited Gaza earlier this month, said in comments broadcast on Sunday that Israel would not halt its offensive in Gaza unless it met strong resistance.
“The nature of Israel means that it will not stop its aggression unless there is firm resistance like what happened in Gaza and with Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the south,” said Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani In an interview with the Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera.
The offensive that started last Wednesday has killed 69 Palestinians, 11 of them on Sunday when an Israeli missile flattened the home of one family. More than 500 rockets fired from Gaza have hit Israel, killing three civilians and wounding dozens.
The emir was in Cairo on Saturday where he held talks about Gaza with Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi. The tiny Gulf country has carved a role for itself as a major player in both the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Syrian civil war.
Shaikh Hamad, who had previously suggested Arab forces should intervene in Syria to bring an end to bloodshed, said in the interview he thought the situation had now gone beyond that point.
“Now sending Arab troops is difficult but if from the beginning the idea of Arab troops had been accepted to prevent bloodshed it would have been better,” he said.
Qatar, along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, has strongly supported the Syrian rebels while Iran backs President Bashar Al Assad.