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Qatar Considers Future of Hamas Office in Doha, and Whether to Keep Mediating

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh meets with Qatari envoy Mohammed Al-Emadi in Gaza City, Jan. 24, 2019. Photo: Ahmed Shaat / Courtesy of Hamas Chief Media Office / Handout via Reuters.

Qatar could close the political office of Hamas as part of a broader review of its role as a mediator in the war between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group, according to an official familiar with the Qatari government’s reassessment.

The Gulf state was weighing whether to allow Hamas to continue operating the political office, and the broader review includes considering whether or not to continue mediating in the seven-month conflict, the official told Reuters.

Qatar said last month it was reevaluating its role as mediator in indirect talks between Israel and Hamas, citing concerns that its efforts were being undermined by politicians seeking to score points.

“If Qatar isn’t going to be mediating, they won’t see a point in keeping the political office. So that is a part of the reassessment,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official did not know if Hamas would be asked to leave Doha if the Qatari government did decide to close the group’s office. However, the official did say Qatar’s own review of its role would be influenced by how Israel and Hamas act during the ongoing negotiations.

In a report on Friday, The Washington Post cited an unnamed US official as saying Washington had told Doha to expel Hamas if the group continues to reject a ceasefire deal with Israel.

Hamas negotiators arrived in Cairo on Saturday for intensified talks on a possible Gaza truce that would see the return to Israel of some hostages, a Hamas official told Reuters.

HAMAS POLITICAL LEADERS

Qatar has hosted Hamas’ political leaders since 2012 as part of an agreement with the US.

Ismail Haniyeh, the group’s leader, lives in Doha and has traveled frequently, including to Turkey, since the deadly Hamas raid on southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Qatar, an influential Gulf state that is designated as major non-NATO ally by Washington, has come under criticism from within the United States and Israel over its ties to Hamas since Oct. 7.

Some 1,200 people were killed in the Oct. 7 attack and 253 others were abducted, of whom 133 are believed to remain in captivity in Gaza, according to Israeli tallies.

Some US lawmakers have called on President Joe Biden’s administration to reevalaute its ties with Qatar if it does not pressure Hamas to make a deal to release hostages. Others have urged Qatar to cut ties with Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also called for Qatar to pressure Hamas. Qatar and Israel do not have formal ties but their officials meet to discuss the mediation efforts.

The post Qatar Considers Future of Hamas Office in Doha, and Whether to Keep Mediating first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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University of Toronto seeks injunction to end protest encampment over ‘harmful, discriminatory’ speech outlined in court filing

The University of Toronto is now seeking a court injunction to put and end to the encampment in King’s College Circle after the 8 a.m. deadline passed Monday morning—while unionized workers joined students, faculty and other protesters at a rainy morning rally. Shortly after the ultimatum hour, the university announced in a statement from UofT […]

The post University of Toronto seeks injunction to end protest encampment over ‘harmful, discriminatory’ speech outlined in court filing appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Monday morning saw the Toronto community and politicians showing support for the Chabad girls’ school struck by weekend gunfire

Mayor Olivia Chow was among those who addressed the crowd.

The post Monday morning saw the Toronto community and politicians showing support for the Chabad girls’ school struck by weekend gunfire appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘A Call for Genocide’: South African Jews Blast Country’s President for Chanting ‘From the River to the Sea’

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Chatsworth, South Africa, May 18, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

South African Jewish leaders castigated their country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, for what they described as him calling for a “genocide” against Jews in Israel over the weekend.

Ramaphosa was speaking at an election rally in Johannesburg on Saturday when he deviated from his prepared speech to lead the crowd in in a chant of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine shall be free” — a popular slogan among anti-Israel activists that has been widely interpreted as a call for the destruction of the Jewish state, which is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The address took place at FNB Stadium, where South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) held its final rally before South African elections on Wednesday. According to Politicsweb, a news website focused on South Africa, a call for the release of the “hostages held in Gaza” who Hamas terrorists kidnapped from southern Israel on Oct. 7 appeared in Ramaphosa’s prepared remarks but not in his final speech.

The South African Jewish community lambasted Ramaphosa for his remarks in a statement shared with The Algemeiner, expressing “its revulsion at the introduction of a call to exterminate Jews from their homeland” by the president.

“The president of the ruling ANC party and the head of state of a democratic country has called for the elimination of the only Jewish state in the culmination of the ANC president’s election speech made to thousands of ANC members and on national television,” said Wendy Kahn, national director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD). “He uses the populist slogan ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be Free,’ which is widely regarded as a call to genocide of the Jewish people. The call to remove all Jews from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea equates to removing all Jews from Israel.”

Kahn compared the slogan with Hamas’ goal to “see Israel as ‘Judenfrei,’ or Jew free,” before noting that such an endpoint contradicts the South African government’s stated policy of supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The chanting of this slogan by a head of state of a government that recurrently tries to express their commitment to a ‘two-state Solution’ as their policy on Israel and Palestine is hypocritical to the full,” the SAJBD said. “How does a sitting president reject his own government and own party’s international relations policy? This reconfirms our understanding that President Ramaphosa and his government are not looking for a peaceful solution to the tragic conflict, but rather to cause discord among fellow South Africans against its Jewish community.”

Kahn added, “The president’s contempt for South African Jewry is evident in this unscripted outburst at the rally which amounts to nothing more than Jew hatred. The SAJBD is reviewing its options for holding the president accountable for these hateful words.”

South Africa’s ANC government has been one of the harshest critics of Israel since Oct. 7, when Hamas terrorists launched the ongoing war in Gaza with their invasion of and massacre across southern Israeli communities.

South Africa temporarily withdrew its diplomats from Israel and shuttered its embassy in Tel Aviv shortly after the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom, saying that the Pretoria government was “extremely concerned at the continued killing of children and innocent civilians” in Gaza.

In December, South Africa hosted two Hamas officials who attended a government-sponsored conference in solidarity with the Palestinians. One of the officials had been sanctioned by the US government for his role with the terrorist organization.

Earlier this month, members of South Africa’s Jewish community protested Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor’s recent call for students and university leaders to intensify the anti-Israel demonstrations that have engulfed college campuses across the US.

In January, the South African government failed in its bid to argue before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Israel’s defensive war in Gaza constituted a “genocide.” However, the top UN court last week ordered Israel to halt its military operations against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The emergency ruling was part of South Africa’s ongoing case at the ICJ.

The post ‘A Call for Genocide’: South African Jews Blast Country’s President for Chanting ‘From the River to the Sea’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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