Arnon Grunberg



On mutual respect - Zvi Bar'el in Haaretz:

‘If Qatar makes good on its warning, this would deal a serious blow to the negotiations and to the chances of securing the hostages' release, and not just because Qatar has significant leverage over Hamas. Qatar has managed to create a unique dynamic in the negotiations, in which Israel's representatives (although not its government) have the status of partners. According to an Israeli source who is close to the negotiations, "personal acquaintances have been formed between the sides which have led to mutual respect, which is vital for the success of the negotiations."’


‘On Saturday, Haniyeh landed in Istanbul and for the first time since July 2023 met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This visit took place under the shadow of a report in the Wall Street Journal, according to which Hamas leaders were examining the option of leaving Qatar and finding a new asylum state, with the possibility being Oman and another Arab state whose name was not mentioned.’


‘Qatar has a special status in Hamas' eyes. Hamas leaders outside the Gaza Strip moved to Doha in 2012, after they broke off relations with Syria, and thus with Iran, on the backdrop of the massacre carried out by the Assad regime against Syrian civilians.
This move came about through an agreement between Qatar and the United States, which wanted to maintain an open channel with Hamas to serve both it and Israel. In fact, back in 2006, after Hamas won the elections for the Palestinian Authority, the U.S. approached Qatar with a request that it serve as an unofficial link to Hamas.’


‘In relation to this, Turkey's Foreign Minister Fidan met Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Ankara on Saturday. They explored the possibility of Turkey cooperating with Egypt, both on mediating between Hamas and Israel, and on forming a plan for civil control of Gaza once the war ends.
The two countries, which until last year were bitter rivals, renewed their relations just in February and are already talking about expanding commerce between them to $15 billion a year, including the acquisition of Turkish drones for Egypt's army. It appears that Qatari leader Al-Thani's criticism against those exploiting the hostage deal for political gains is true for his friend and ally Erdogan as well.’

Read the complete article here.

Many dictators or would-be dictators are reaping the benefits of this tragedy, the civilian population, the Gazans, the hostages, the families of the hostages, are bleeding. They are less than pawns on this board.

The tragedy in Gaza, for all people involved, is also a game of chess on the geopolitical chess board called the Middle East.

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