(NVONews.Com) In a significant move the pro-West Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, became the first head of the state since 1999 to enter the Gaza Strip from Egypt on Tuesday. The visit broke the five years long isolation of Hamas-ruled Gaza.
Though apparently Israel was disappointed by the trip yet the truth is that the visit of Sheikh Hamad could not be possible without the green signal from the United States of America.
After all Hamas is close to Iran and the new regime in Egypt too has ideological affiliation with it. On the other hand Qatar and Saudi Arabia are backing the anti-Bashar revolt in Syria.
The Emir has in the past met Israeli leaders and is working overtime to boost the diplomatic clout of his oil-rich tiny country. Along with Saudi Arabia it is trying to form an anti-Iran front in the Muslim world.
He has also previously sought to mediate between Hamas and Fatah to end the divisions that have weakened the Palestinian cause.
Sheikh Hamad is heading a large delegation on what is called a humanitarian visit to inaugurate $250 million worth of reconstruction projects. The Emir was given a red-carpet welcome by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who declared it a historic day for Gaza.
Commenting on the development the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas, said it hoped the visit would not undermine efforts to rebuild Palestinian unity or signal approval for a separate Palestinian territory.
On the other hand an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said it was “astounding” that Qatar was taking sides, noting that the Emir “has never dignified the PA with a visit”. But the Middle East watchers are of the view that Israelis too want to see the Hamas-Iran nexus smashed.
The Zionist state always alleges that Hamas has refused to renounce violence and has not recognized its right to exist. Many western countries still call Hamas a terrorist organization.
It is because of this that Gaza is facing partial blockade by Israel, but it is now getting help from Egypt. Israel is always wary of the role of the Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt.
Incidentally, the visit came when there is tension between Israel and Gaza. An Israeli officer was badly injured by an explosion on the Gaza border and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised a “strong response”.