Qatari emir reiterates country's support for Palestine

Gulf ruler calls Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh after latter's designation as 'global terrorist' by US authorities

By Ahmed al-Masri

DOHA (AA) - Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Thursday called Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to reiterate his country’s support for the Palestinian people and cause.

According to the Qatari News Agency (QNA), Haniyeh briefed Sheikh Tamim on "the critical humanitarian conditions faced by the people of Gaza as a result of the ongoing siege of the territory and the resultant fuel shortage."

The emir, for his part, promised Haniyeh that Doha would maintain its longstanding support for the Palestinian people, especially in terms of rebuilding Gaza’s war-battered infrastructure.

Haniyeh, meanwhile, expressed his thanks on behalf of the people of Gaza for Qatar’s “continued support for the Palestinian cause."

Thursday’s phone call was the first to Haniyeh from a foreign leader since the U.S. designated the Hamas chief as a “global terrorist” late last month.

In recent years, Qatar has carried out numerous reconstruction projects in Gaza, which have included building roads and hospitals.

The Gaza Strip continues to groan under a decade-long Israel/Egyptian embargo that has deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities, including fuel, medicine and building materials.

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