(Special envoy to Tel Aviv, Israel) Qatar, a tiny Arab state with formidable oil and gas reserves, has become a key protagonist in the war that Israel is waging against Hamaswhich carried out a terrorist operation with thousands of Jews dead, hundreds injured and a still undetermined number of civilian and military hostages.
The official (current) number of those kidnapped by Hamas is 222and they would be citizens of at least 26 countries, including the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China, Russia, Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
Israel was planning a lightning offensive against the Strip to annihilate Hamas, but the pressure from the international community in favor of the release of the hostages cooled the premier’s war tactics Benjamin Netanyahu.
Joseph Biden, Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz, to name three protagonists on the global board, support Israel and endorse its decision to exterminate the terrorist organization. However, before executing this complex movement on the battlefield, the leaders of the United States, France and Germany They demanded that all avenues – public and secret – be exhausted. to achieve the freedom of all civilian hostages.
Netanyahu accepted the proposal of his main Western allies and made two successive moves: he put the ground offensive in Gaza on hold and enabled a backchannel led by Qatar to negotiate with Hamas for the freedom of the kidnapped.
The political authorization granted by Netanyahu to Qatar and the United States It is assumed to be a state secret. For this reason, the diplomacy of both countries works in reserve and the spokesmen of the Israeli government try to deny information that is confirmed by the facts.
This happened during the interview that this special envoy had with Emmanuel Nahshon, deputy director general of public diplomacy of Israel. The dialogue took place in Sderot, a city attacked by Hamas that is one kilometer from Gaza.
-There is a negotiation that Qatar is developing with the United States, in direct talks with Hamas. Is the Israeli government aware of these conversations?
-I don’t want to give you an answer-, answered Nahshon.
Nahshon’s diplomatic caution is predictable, regardless of the facts. In the last three days, Hamas freed four hostages: Nurit Cooper, 79 years old, Yocheved Lifshitz85, Judith Raanan, 59 years old, and his daughter, Natalie Raanan of 17.
Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, talk at all hours with Qatari Foreign Minister Sultan Bin Saad al-Muraikhi who in turn negotiates with an important Hamas terrorist who is in Doha.
The diplomacy of the United States and Qatar chose to keep the name of the representative of the terrorist organization confidential, but confirmed to Infobae that negotiations exist – with their logical ups and downs -, and that the humanitarian objective this week is to achieve the freedom of 50 civilian hostages.
The Israeli government monitors the progress of the talks and lets things happen. However, in the last few hours he has raised two red lines: he will not agree to give Hamas fuel to use in Gaza for war purposes. and will not participate in the selection of the hostages who could be released.
Hamas demanded from Qatari diplomacy that Israel agree to deliver thousands of liters of diesel oil that should enter Gaza with the humanitarian aid trucks coordinated by the United Nations (UN) from the Rafah crossing (Egypt). If that doesn’t happen, the terrorist organization threatens to suspend the negotiation process.
The Israeli government rejected this claim. because it has been proven that Hamas uses that fuel to strengthen its defense system inside the Strip, instead of keeping the power plants that operate throughout the territory under terrorist control on.
“Hamas lies. They want the fuel to move their tanks and prepare their rockets. “We would be committing suicide if we accept that claim they made to the Qataris,” said a spokesperson for Israel’s war cabinet.
In addition to rejecting the hypothesis of delivering diesel oil to terrorists, Netanyahu’s administration will remain out of drawing up the list of the likely 50 freed hostages, if negotiations finally continue between Doha, Washington and Tel Aviv.
In principle, Hamas is holding civilian hostages from the following countries: Germany, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Spain, United States, France, Philippines, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Panama, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom , Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
And Netanyahu does not want to appear in a triage that involves defining which country will manage to free its compatriots who have been at the mercy of Hamas for 16 days. In the end, It will be a decision that is made in Washington with the consent of Qatar and the political authorization of Hamas.