Qatar PM blames Netanyahu for hostage talks stalling; Israeli officials: 'Qatar Playing a Double Game'

Al Thani says negotiations have not advanced since Paris summit; Officials in Jerusalem say Qatar fails to use leverage it has over Hamas

Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Al Thani on Wednesday said the fate of the region cannot be left in the hands of politicians willing to endanger it for their personal benefit.
The criticism was directed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu although he did not mention him by name and was made amid the growing tension between Israel and Qatar.
Until now, the Qataris were considered by officials in Jerusalem as a mediator with leverage over Hamas. After the recent round of negotiations in Doha, Jerusalem concluded that they had not delivered on that front.
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ראש ממשלת קטאר מוחמד בן עבד א-רחמן אאל ת'אני
ראש ממשלת קטאר מוחמד בן עבד א-רחמן אאל ת'אני
Mohammed Al Thani
(Photo: Mark Schiefelbein / Reuters)
The officials said there was not enough pressure put on Hamas, no threats made to expel its leaders from the Gulf nation nor was anyone expelled and none of the Hamas bank accounts had been frozen. Israel believes Qatar has put no pressure at all on the terror group.
This resulted in Mossad chief David Barnea, calling the Israeli delegation back from Doha and in the talks resuming in Cairo.
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איסמעיל הניה
איסמעיל הניה
Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar
(Photo: AFP)
Meanwhile Netanyahu gave the green light to his Communications Minister to move against the offices of the Qatari owned Al Jazeera Network, and advance a low that would enable Israel to close its offices down, after earlier attempts were blocked by the prime minister.
In a joint statement with visiting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Al Thani said the talks have not advanced since the Paris summit in February and the main obstacle is the return of Gazans to the north of the Strip. He also criticized Israel's intention to launch an offensive on Rafah, saying no other country in the world supports such a move.
Israel is waiting for a response from Hamas to the new proposals from the Egyptian and American mediators, which is expected on Thursday. If Hamas agrees the pressure on Israel to compromise, will be great.
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