'Gaza is not there anymore': Qatari premier warns of massive destruction

AP , AFP , Tuesday 16 Jan 2024

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister, warned on Tuesday of massive destruction, criticizing Israel and the international community over the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza.

Gaza Strip
Massive destruction east of Beit Hanoun and Shuja iya due to the Israeli war on Gaza. Nearly 2 million (around 85 percent of Gazans) have been displaced by the war, according to the UN. Photo courtesy of SAFA


Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Thani said a two-state solution was required to end the conflict and warned that the Israeli war on Gaza showed the region could not go back to the way it was before.

“Gaza is not there anymore. I mean, there is nothing over there,” he said, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "It’s carpet bombing everywhere,” he added.

He also brought up the ongoing tensions in the West Bank, which has seen Palestinians killed as well by Israeli security forces, and urged for an end to Palestinian divisions.

"We cannot have a two-state solution without having a government and politicians in Israel who believe in coexisting together side by side peacefully and we cannot have all this ongoing without ending this war,” he said.

He warned that a military confrontation in the Mideast waterways “will not contain” the attacks by Yemen's Houthi rebels who on Monday fired a missile, striking a US-owned ship just off the coast of Yemen in the Gulf of Aden.

“What we have right now in the region is a recipe of escalation everywhere,” Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Thani added, stressing that liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments would also be affected by tensions in the Red Sea.

"LNG is ... as any other merchant shipments. They will be affected by that," he said, referring to the exchanges with the Houthis.

"There are alternative routes; those alternative routes are not more efficient; they're less efficient than the current route," he added.

Rather than using the Suez Canal, the key route between Asia and European markets, which normally carries about 12 percent of global maritime trade, some shipping companies are now taking a major detour around Southern Africa.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that at least five LNG vessels operated by Qatar had stopped en route to the Red Sea.


* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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