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“Qatar: The Key Player in Negotiating with Hamas

The tiny Arab State of Qatar, situated in the Persian Gulf, has played a significant role in negotiations between Israel and Hamas. This tiny, oil-rich state has grown into a major influence in the region, even though it has the second smallest population in the Gulf. In truth, Qatar has existed as an independent monarchy since the mid-19th century, though it was a British protectorate for a time. It has used its geostrategic location and natural resources, such as oil and depleting natural gas, to build a thriving economy. But it was through diplomatic maneuvers that Qatar truly began to expand its power and influence. Qatar initially gained support from the United States and other Western countries for its unwavering commitment to the UN-backed Arab peace initiative. Qatar also established itself as a key mediator in the Middle East peace process, initially intervening in 2006 when it helped broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The successful bid that Qatar put forward to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup further solidified Qatar’s presence in the region. Qatar became a leading international player by taking on major diplomatic activities such as hosting Israel-Palestine peace talks in 2008, and then again in 2014 when Qatar played a major role in brokering an agreement to end the recent war between Israel and Hamas. Qatar has provided much-needed financial support for the Hamas-led government in Gaza, while also becoming a key mediator between Israel and Hamas. This support came in the form of direct payments, medical and humanitarian aid, and infrastructure investments. In 2017 Qatar also donated $60 million to the Palestinian Authority to help pay salaries for public employees in Gaza, and has since pledged even more aid money. Qatar’s role as a mediator between Israel and Hamas has earned it criticism from some in the region, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Nevertheless, Qatar remains an indispensable part of any breakthrough in negotiations over a long-term agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. In summary, Qatar has become a major international player in the Middle East by using its geographic position, strong economy, and diplomatic skill. Its involvement in negotiations between Israel and Hamas has made it an indispensable factor for any resolution of this conflict. In the process, Qatar has demonstrated that it can leverage its resources to make a positive impact on its region and beyond.