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Qatari crisis risks sparking new Israeli-Hamas confrontation

The Qatar crisis might lead to a showdown between Israel and Hamas, with key Arab states dismissing the Islamist movement as a terrorist organization, leaving it vulnerable to Israeli attack and pressuring Qatar to drop support for it.
An Israeli F-15 fighter jet takes off during an exercise dubbed " Juniper Falcon", held between crews from the U.S and Israeli air forces, at Ovda Military Airbase, in southern Israel May 16. Picture taken May 16, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RTX36T2T
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The Gulf crisis centering on Qatar seems likely to affect the Palestinian territories in more ways than one, in particular in Gaza. Qatar's generous assistance of hundreds of millions of dollars for Gaza's development could soon come to a complete halt with Qatar being pressured by a Saudi-led coalition of other Gulf states and Egypt to cut ties with Hamas. Meanwhile, Israeli officials are warning of potential repercussions of the crisis, which has resulted in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt severing relations with Doha for allegedly sponsoring terrorism. Doha denies the allegation.

Yaakov Amidror, former head of Israel's National Security Council, speculated to Israel Hayom on June 13 that a suspension of Qatari aid to Gaza and its decision to kick Hamas political bureau leaders out of the country might leave the Islamist movement with nothing to lose, pushing it to initiate a military confrontation with Israel. In a June 11 interview with Haaretz, Israeli military expert Amos Harel also predicted that a drop in Qatari support for Hamas could prompt an escalation against Israel this summer.

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