The foreign ministers of Turkey and Qatar accused the international community of “double standards” Wednesday in its reaction to the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Qatar’s top diplomat Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said the two governments — both Western allies — “reaffirm our complete rejection of responding to the crisis with double standards when it comes to human life”.
“It is not permissible to condemn the killing of civilians in one context and justify it in another.” Al-Thani, who also serves as Qatar’s prime minister, said.
Israel launched its assault on Gaza in response to an unprecedented cross-border attack by Hamas militants on October 7.
Gunmen from the Palestinian group poured into Israel from Gaza, killing more than 1,400 people and taking 222 hostages, according to Israeli authorities.
Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says 6,546 people have been killed in the war so far, many of them children.
Western governments, including Britain, France and the United States, have offered their full support to Israel, asserting its right to defend itself following Hamas’s deadly rampage.
Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said: “The failure of some American and north European countries to condemn and prevent the destruction and disaster in Gaza constitutes a very serious double standard and plays a destabilising role.
“The operation in Gaza should be stopped as soon as possible. Humanitarian corridors should be opened,” he added.
Both Turkey and Qatar have been strong supporters of the Palestinian cause and have open channels of communication with Hamas, the Islamist rulers of Gaza.
The wealthy Gulf emirate, which hosts the largest US military base in the Middle East, also hosts Hamas’s political office and is the main residence of the Islamists’ self-exiled leader Ismail Haniyeh.
It has used its channels with Hamas, established with US blessing, to play a lead role in the release of four of the more than 200 hostages held by the militant group in Gaza.
The Qatari minister said the only way to restore peace in and around Gaza was to keep channels of communication open.
He said Doha and Ankara would continue to coordinate with each other and regional partners to de-escalate the conflict.
He condemned criticism of Qatar’s position, saying that such comments “undermine existing efforts, risk lives and cannot be understood except in the context of political blackmail”.