'Israel' confirms talks on temporary office in Qatar during World Cup
An Israeli official confirms that there was contact between Israeli and Qatari officials over opening a "temporary" office in Doha for Israelis attending the World Cup.
An Israeli official told AFP Wednesday that the Israeli occupation and Qatar, which have no diplomatic relations, have discussed opening a "temporary" Israeli office in the Gulf state during the 2022 World Cup.
"Israel" has not qualified for the coming World Cup which begins in November but has announced a deal that will allow Israelis to obtain a Qatari entry visa with proof of ticket purchase.
"There was contact between Israeli and Qatari officials," an Israeli diplomatic official confirmed, pointing out that the discussions had centered on opening a "temporary" office for Israelis attending the World Cup.
"They shouldn't be classified as diplomatic talks. As of now, no agreement has been reached," claimed the official who requested anonymity.
Since September 2020, the Israeli occupation normalized relations with three Arab states - the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco under the sponsorship of then-US President Donald Trump. However, Qatar has been critical of the US-brokered normalization agreements.
It is noteworthy that tensions between the Israeli occupation and Qatar surged following the May martyrdom of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli gunfire while she was covering an Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raid in the occupied West Bank.
The Doha-based network and the Qatari state both accused the occupation of deliberately targeting Abu Akleh.
The IOF claimed on September 5 that one of its troops had "accidentally" shot Abu Akleh and that occupation soldiers "were not aware they were firing at journalists."
But it seems that the Qatari state is willing to overcome the heinous Israeli crime for the sake of polishing its image to the world during the coming World Cup.
Israeli media: Israeli officials visited Doha for talks over World Cup
Last week, Israeli media reported that direct contacts are underway between the Israeli occupation and Qatar to establish a consular office to provide assistance to Israelis who want to attend the World Cup.
The Israeli Kan channel revealed that Israeli officials visited Qatar recently to hold talks on this matter before the start of the World Cup.
The channel cited unnamed sources as saying that "Israel" wants to establish an interests office to provide assistance to Israelis during the World Cup, but in Qatar, they are "coldly" dealing with the matter.
Kan mentioned that talks on this matter are still ongoing and have not yet come to a solution.
The Israeli channel claimed that Qatar sees the World Cup as an opportunity to strengthen itself in the region and work, among other things, to push for a solution to what it dubs "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
Israeli journalists will also be able to visit Qatar during the World Cup, but they will be required to apply for a special journalist's entry visa, Kan pointed out.
Qatar allows Israelis to attend World Cup
In early June, the Israeli occupation Foreign Ministry announced that Israelis will be able to travel to Qatar to attend the 2022 World Cup games.
According to the Israeli Ministry, the agreement was reached with FIFA officials following months of talks and "efforts" put by the foreign, security, and sports ministries despite the failure of the Israeli team to qualify for the championship.
Israeli occupation Security Minister Benny Gantz welcomed "the coordination that was achieved for the benefit of sports fans in Israel.”
"Qatar is a country with international importance, contributing to maintaining stability in our region," Gantz said.
In late November, Qatar will host the first World Cup in the Middle East. Unlike neighbors, the UAE and Bahrain, Doha did not officially normalize ties with the Israeli occupation, but the announcement shows otherwise and might pave the way for another Arab state to normalization.