Qatar official: ‘Agreement to transport Palestine, Israel fans through Ben Gurion Airport should not be politicized’

AFP has quoted an anonymous Qatari official stating that the agreement to operate direct flights to Doha from Israel during the World Cup should not be politicized. Direct flights have been transporting Palestinian and Israeli fans from Ben Gurion Airport to Hamad Airport, which falls within the framework of Doha’s commitment to the requirements of hosting the World Cup on football.

“We have always said that anyone with a World Cup match ticket will be allowed to enter Qatar. Because of this agreement, Palestinians will now be able to enjoy the first World Cup in the Arab and Muslim world,” affirmed the official.

“Qatar’s position remains firmly linked to resolving the Palestinian issue, including a two-state solution by the relevant Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. As of late, we have not seen any positive developments in the peace process that would merit a change in our policy,” the official confirmed, according to Qatar’s Al-Sharq newspaper.

In the same context, the same newspaper said that for the first time in the history of World Cup competitions, Palestinian fans would be able to attend World Cup matches without restrictions from the Israeli occupation state. This is thanks to Qatari diplomacy that forced the Israeli occupation to allow Palestinians to come to Doha to attend the largest sporting event in the world — a precedent not seen in other tournaments.

Around 8,000 Palestinian fans will arrive in Qatar to attend the World Cup competitions for the first time in the history of the World Cup tournaments through Ben Gurion Airport, flying with Cyprus’s Tus Airways, after the occupation authorities had placed many obstacles and restrictions preventing Palestinians from using Israeli airports. Palestinians will also be able to obtain consular services at the Palestinian Embassy in Doha.

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