In a candid assessment at the Doha Forum, Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, a central figure in recent negotiation efforts, expressed concern over the diminished willingness of Israel and Hamas to resolve their ongoing conflict.
Diminishing Hopes for Peace
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, while speaking to CNN's Becky Anderson, conveyed a sobering perspective on the current state of negotiations. "We are not seeing the same willingness" as observed in the weeks prior to the last month's truce, he stated.
This diminishing inclination from both parties poses a significant challenge to peace efforts in the region. The recent truce in November, which Al Thani mentioned, brought temporary relief, including the release of some hostages and the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza.
However, the Qatari Prime Minister voiced his disappointment at the failure to leverage this pause in fighting for further diplomatic progress.
Qatar's Role in Mediation
Qatar has been playing a pivotal role in mediating between Israel, the US, and Hamas.
Last month’s negotiations, facilitated by Qatar, led to the release of dozens of hostages – a development that was hoped to pave the way for a more comprehensive and sustainable agreement. Al Thani, having engaged directly with senior Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, had expressed hope that these efforts would end the war and bloodshed.
The ICRC's Crucial Role in Conflict Zones
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has also been instrumental in the Israel-Hamas conflict, acting as a neutral intermediary. They coordinated the recent transfer of hostages back into Israel and the return of Palestinians from Israeli detention.
The organization, with a history of 160 years in conflict and crisis zones, emphasized the importance of their rapid deployment capability, especially in regions already destabilized by war. “Emergencies are unpredictable so our rapid deployment capability is hugely important.
We also respond to disasters in conflict zones because the effects of a disaster are compounded if a country is already at war,” the organization said in a statement on its official website.