A senior source in Jerusalem said that in return for renewed diplomatic relations, the Qataris demanded that they be allowed to carry out a series of reconstruction projects in the Gaza Strip and to import the necessary construction materials. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman were unwilling to agree to this, he said.Ah. There were ties attached, and the decision was the result of a pro-vs-cons deliberation. That's a slightly different story, isn't it.
In return, Qatar sought to assume responsibility for rebuilding Gaza. It also asked Israel to make a public statement expressing appreciation for the emirate's role and acknowledging its standing in the Middle East.
Deliberations were held at the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office, and a fierce argument erupted between those who supported resuming ties, even at the cost of granting Qatar a role in Gaza, and those who argued that the Qataris had opted for an alliance with Iran and Hamas, so there was "no reason to give them gifts."
In the end, a senior Israeli official said, the issue was removed from the agenda due to American opposition.
Wait a minute! Run that by me again, please?
In the end, a senior Israeli official said, the issue was removed from the agenda due to American opposition.The Americans were against. Makes you wish Haaretz had given a bit more of the story, doesn't it. Alas, no such luck.
However, the Qataris continued their covert contacts with Israel, and two months ago, they made another, similar offer. But Lieberman and Netanyahu decided to reject this offer as well.
A senior Israeli official familiar with the details of the discussions said that Netanyahu was actually initially inclined to accept the offer, as were both Lieberman and National Security Adviser Uzi Arad.
However, the official said, they ultimately rejected it, because the Qataris conditioned the resumption of diplomatic ties on an Israeli agreement to allow large quantities of cement and construction material into the Gaza Strip. The amount stipulated by Qatar was much greater than Israel was willing to approve, he said.
"Allowing such massive amounts of construction material into the Strip, of the sort that Hamas uses to build bunkers and reinforced positions for missile launches against Israel, runs counter to Israel's security interests," he explained.
Exactly as the headline indicated, isn't it.
I would gladly cancel my subscription to Haaretz, but we already have, back when the Anat Kamm-Uri Blau story happened. (Blau is still in London, by the way).
Instead, I am hereby launching the Seriously Idiotic Laughable Lies, Yes (SILLY) Awards. In order to compete, all you need to do is send a link to some news item, along with a malicious caption that is mostly unrelated to the content. I'll post all reasonably Orwellian submissions.