Diplomatic efforts to maintain ceasefire in Gaza ahead of Eurovision

May 13, 2019 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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Egyptian and Qatari diplomats are in contact with the terror groups in the Gaza Strip in an effort to ensure that they do not attack Israel during the Eurovision song contest slated for the weekend.

Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS

An Egyptian delegation arrived in Gaza on Thursday, while a Qatari envoy has reportedly entered the Strip on Sunday with millions in cash for the residents of Gaza.

Qatar has pledged $480 million in relief to Gaza to ease the tensions. Qatar serves as the patron of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East and is a big supporter of Hamas, an offshoot of the Brotherhood.

Hamas has reportedly deployed its security forces at possible flashpoints to maintain order, and is preparing for Wednesday, during which they will mark Nakba Day, the day on which the State of Israel was established, and which is perceived by the Arabs as “the catastrophe.”

62 Gazans were killed last year in violence on the Gaza border on Nakba Day, which was also utilized to protest the US’ relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem.

These diplomatic efforts are taking place while Egypt and Qatar are experiencing tensions. The two Arab countries severed diplomatic relations in 2017. Qatar supported deposed Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader. The deposing forces now rule Egypt.

Qatar has been dragging its feet and did not transfer the latest installment of funds to Gaza on the eve of Ramadan, as a move against Egypt, with whom it is competing for control over the Strip. Egypt has historically been the mediator, while Qatar now wants a say about Gaza’s future because it is paying to rehabilitate the Strip.

Hamas has stated that the Qatari funds, which were approved by Israel, are an indication that Israel is willing to move forward in the discussion on a long-term ceasefire.

While diplomats from several countries are working to ease the tensions, the Islamic Jihad terror group has ordered its forces to stay on high alert, especially ahead of Nakba Day.

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