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Israel-Palestine war: Israeli soldiers paint Star of David on Qatari consulate in Gaza

Symbol sprayed on damaged building despite Israel and Qatar working closely over deal to free captives and warm words from Israeli official
The star of David spray painted on the side of the Qatari consulate building in the besieged Gaza Strip (X)
The Star of David spray painted on the side of the Qatari consulate building in the besieged Gaza Strip (X)

Israeli soldiers have painted the Star of David on the heavily damaged Qatari consulate building in the Gaza Strip, according to media reports.

Shahar Glick, a journalist at Israel's Army Radio, posted images of the building on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday.

"[Israeli] soldiers left a stamp on the destroyed Qatar embassy in the Gaza Strip this morning," he posted.

The symbol can be seen sprayed on the side of the four-storey building, which was severely damaged by shelling. The building is situated in the Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City. 

Middle East Eye has asked the Israeli army and the Qatari government for comment.

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In recent years, Qatar has played a key role in keeping Gaza's economy afloat as Israel has enforced a strict blockade of the coastal enclave.

It has also been prominent in indirect negotiations between Israel and the Hamas movement over potential prisoner exchange and ceasefire agreements.

Last Thursday, the heads of Mossad and the CIA met with the Qatari prime minister in Doha to discuss a deal to free some of the 240 captives taken by Hamas and other Palestinian groups during their 7 October attack on Israel. 

A day earlier, Qatari mediators met officials from Hamas's political bureau to discuss the parameters of a deal.

Though Israel and Qatar do not have formal ties and are often highly critical of one another, last month Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi issued some unusual praise for the Qatari role since the outbreak of war.

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“I’m pleased to say that Qatar is becoming an essential party and stakeholder in the facilitation of humanitarian solutions. Qatar’s diplomatic efforts are crucial at this time,” Hanegbi posted on X.

Since 2014, Qatar has funnelled hundreds of millions of dollars into Gaza, helping to pay for fuel to keep the power station running. The money has also been distributed to impoverished families and paid the salaries of public employees.

The Qatari funds have been transferred to Gaza over the years with Israeli assistance, with the money most often reportedly being transferred electronically to Israel, which then takes it in cash into the enclave to be distributed with UN help.

On 7 October, a Hamas-led attack on Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip killed around 1,200 Israelis, with 240 others taken as hostages back to the coastal enclave.

Since then, Israel has subjected Gaza to a relentless bombing campaign, and in the past fortnight staged a ground offensive on Gaza City and other areas of the enclave's north.

At least 11,180 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaze, including more than 4,500 children and at least 3,000 women.

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