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'Fake news' sparks real crisis in the Gulf

Controversial statements reported by Qatar's state news agency and later attributed to a hack have revealed deep tension among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The past few days in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been dramatic. A ticker on Qatar News Agency attributed controversial statements about US President Donald Trump, Iran, Israel and Hamas to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The news agency's Twitter feed also quoted Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, announcing Doha’s decision to withdraw its ambassadors from Egypt and most GCC states.

In response, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates blocked Al Jazeera and other Qatari networks and media platforms. Saudi Arabia's Okaz newspaper accused Doha of "breaking ranks" with the GCC by siding with "enemies."

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