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Qatari diplomat admits to 'excellent' relations with Israeli officials

Muhammad al-Amadi heads Doha’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 13 February, 2017

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In a first time interview with Israeli media, Muhammad al-Amadi said he had been in touch with Israeli political and military officials, claiming that he maintains 'excellent' ties with them.
Qatar’s envoy to Gaza, Muhammad al-Amadi admitted to strengthening ties with the Jewish state, in a first time interview with Israeli media. 

Amadi said he had been in touch with Israeli political and military officials and agencies, claiming that their relationship “is great” and that he maintains “excellent” ties with them.

“The head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories General Yoav Mordechai is of course one of them, but there are others,” Amadi told Times of Israel.

Mordechai, who is also the IDF spokesperson, sparked controversy last year after he was caught lying about Islamic State [IS] soldiers entering Gaza from Egypt through Hamas controlled tunnels.

Amadi, who heads Doha’s National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza also called out the Ramallah based Palestinian Authority in the interview for its lack of initative in solving the Gaza electricity crisis.

“This is a very serious matter that should help you in Israel as well, since these are your neighbours that are without regular electricity and water flowing to their homes. The Israelis understand this and are helping, but there are other parties that are not," he said in reference to the PA.

Read also: Fuse blown: Gaza living on four hours of power

Senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh announced on Saturday that Qatar is set to donate $100 million for reconstructing Gaza after the devastating effects of the Gaza offensive in the summer of 2014.

When asked about this by the Times of Israel, Amadi asserted that the sum has not yet been transferred, but when it does go through, it would be allocated specifically to solving the electricity crisis and rebuilding civilian infrastructure.

Read also: Gaza's devastation two years on: calm suffering

Amadi’s contact with Israeli officials should come as no surprise, as he routinely deals with all parties within the Palestine-Israel conflict to come to diplomatic terms. He has in the past mediated talks between Hamas and Israeli officials in order to complete prisoner-swaps.

During the interview with Times of Israel, he gave cryptic responses as to whether he approaching the Israeli press was done under his personal initiative, or whether Doha is looking to normalise relations with the Jewish state.

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