Arab and Islamic countries condemn Israeli bombing of Qatari aid offices in Gaza

Qatar Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza was set up to administer a $407m grant to rebuild the Palestinian enclave’s destroyed infrastructure

A Qatari Red Crescent member stands next to shipment of humanitarian aid bound for the Gaza Strip being unloaded off a military transport aircraft after landing at Arish International Airport in North Sinai province on November 9, 2023. AFP
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Arab and Islamic countries have strongly criticised Israel's bombing of the headquarters of the Qatar Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza.

Through the humanitarian office, Qatar disburses monthly grants in support of 100,000 families in the Gaza Strip, at a rate of $100 for each family.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt and Jordan – along with the Gulf Co-operation Council and Organisation of Islamic Co-operation – all issued statements of condemnation late on Monday against the Israeli air strikes on the offices of the organisation, which has played a vital role in Gaza's reconstruction for more than a decade.

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry denounced the Israeli bombing as “blatant aggression.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also calls on the Israeli occupation to stop providing flimsy justifications for targeting civilian objects, health facilities, and civilians and using misleading information,” it said.

The Gaza reconstruction committee was set up by Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to administer a $407 million grant from Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to rebuild Gaza’s destroyed infrastructure in 2012.

Unverified photos posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, by users from Gaza showed the aftermath of the Israeli bombing of the Qatari aid office, with graffiti symbols and words spray-painted in Hebrew on the walls of the building.

The Gulf state, which has been meditating hostage releases between Israel and Hamas, said the attack on Monday was “an extension of Israel’s behaviour of targeting civilians”.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the “blatant aggression by the occupation forces on the Qatari committee's headquarters” and expressed solidarity with Qatar.

The kingdom urged the international community to immediately put an end to “violations committed by the occupation authorities”.

The UAE also strongly condemned the Israeli attack on the Qatari committee's headquarters, emphasising the need for an immediate ceasefire to prevent further bloodshed.

Kuwait, Oman and Egypt’s foreign ministries also criticised the bombing, describing it as a “crime” and “heinous act.”

Kuwait called on the international community to “put an end to these Israeli violations carried out under transparent pretexts and lies exposed to the world.”

Jordan, meanwhile, said the Israeli bombing of the Qatari facility in Gaza was a “reprehensible war crime to be added to Israel's criminal record”.

The continuing war has killed 11,240 Palestinians in Gaza and about 1,200 people in Israel, according to official figures from both sides.

Updated: November 15, 2023, 7:10 AM