Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani - Via Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 4 June 2017: In recent days Qatar has become the target of Arab Gulf media, mainly Saudi Arabia and the UAE, amid tension that erupted over the Qatari Emir’s statement in which attacked Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Riyadh newspaper joined the media war on Qatar from the beginning. On Saturday, the paper published an article highlighting Qatari-Israeli relations, based on an Israeli book by Shamuel Revel released in 2011, titled, “Qatar and Israel – Secret Relations File.”
Following the Madrid Conference of 1991 on peace talks between Palestine and Israel, the Qatari ruling family started to get closer to Israel, seeking to establish economic and political relations even before settling the Palestinian cause, according to the Riyadh’s report.
The Saudi newspaper said these Qatari diplomatic efforts resulted in the first visit of Israel’s Prime Minister Shimon Peres to Doha in 1996, when he opened a trade office in the U.S.-allied country, as well as the establishment of the Qatari gas stock market in Tel Aviv.
In his book, Revel, head of the Bureau of the European Division of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said he was responsible for organizing bilateral relations between Israel and Qatar in 1996-1999.
He pointed out that Qatari officials and companies provided all required facilitations to boost economic cooperation between the two countries.
Revel disclosed that Doha had concluded an agreement with Tel Aviv to establish a developed dairy farm with the aim to compete with Saudi and Emirati dairy products in the region.
Revel also writes that in 2008, Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni visited Qatar to participate in the Doha Democracy Forum that was held in the presence of 600 officials and academic and economic figures from different countries.
Livni’s visit reflected her country’s deep relations with Qatar, wrote Revel. She held several meetings with Qatari officials, visited several places in Doha and delivered a lecture to students from international academic institutions.
According to the article in the Riyadh, Qatar claimed that its relations with Israel aimed to support peace negotiations with Palestine, though these efforts were actually in favor of the Israeli side.
The Riyadh noted that the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held captive for more than five years by Palestinian group Hamas, came after several meetings held between former Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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