Qatar Urged to Cut Ties with Israel
Qatar must severe commercial ties with Israel to protest against the military attacks on Palestinians, a leading Qatari newspaper said Saturday.
"The closure of the Israel trade office in Doha ... has become a demand," said Al-Raya, which like all the Qatari press is close to the authorities.
"Thousands turned out on the streets last week to demand the close of the Israel office, the expulsion of (Israeli) civil servants from Doha and the halting of all normalization with Israel," the daily noted.
The emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, assured Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat of Qatar's support for the "just Palestinian cause", in a telephone call Friday night, the official QNA news agency said.
On Thursday, Oman announced it was shutting its commercial representation in Tel Aviv and Israel's trade office in Muscat.
Qatar and Oman are the only Gulf Arab states where Israel has had any official representation. Diplomatic relations were not established, but Israel opened trade offices in Doha and Muscat.
Morocco announced Thursday it was recalling the head of its liaison bureau from Tel Aviv as the violence, which has left more than 100 dead, flared.
Palestinian International Cooperation Minister Nabil Shaath urged other Arab states to follow suit – DOHA (AFP)
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