Qatar figured as a major player in this summer’s Gaza war, and just might be involved in other regional conflicts involving brutal jihadist terror groups, and not in a good way.
As the 50-day conflagration between Israel and Hamas drew to a close, it became increasingly clear that Qatar was pulling the Palestinian group’s strings.
Overall Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is currently hiding out in Qatar, and was reportedly threatened with deportation by his hosts if Hamas agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that could be construed as surrender or defeat.
You see, Qatar and Egypt don’t much like one another after the former backed the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the latter. After ousting the government of Mohammed Morsi last year, the new Egyptian regime called out Qatar over its financing and facilitating of the radical Islamist movement.
Given that Hamas is a direct descendent of the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s little surprise that it, too, has Qatar’s blessing and backing.
But Qatar’s questionable behavior isn’t confined to support of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Germany’s development aid minister, Gerd Mueller, who this week accused the sheikdom of also funding the Islamic State (formerly ISIS).
“A story like this always has a history,” Mueller said in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF when asked about the Islamic State’s impressive conquests. “Who is financing these troops? Hint: Qatar.”
German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called for a public debate over who is aiding the Islamic State, without directly calling out Qatar.
Given recent world history, Germany has for decades been overly reluctant to get involved in foreign armed conflicts. But the rapid spread of the Islamic State and the troubling involvement of some European allies in the Middle East has some German politicians urging Berlin to at least arm the Kurds and other forces capable of stemming the Islamist tide.
It is instructive to remember that this is the same Qatar from which senior US Representative Nancy Pelosi saw fit to seek counsel regarding whether or not Hamas could be trusted.
It is also the same Qatar that US Secretary of State John Kerry consulted, much to Israel’s chagrin, when formulating the Obama Administration’s first, failed ceasefire proposal at the height of the Gaza war.
PHOTO: Palestinian children in Gaza wave Qatari flags ahead of a visit by Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in 2012. (Flash90)