Qatari Emir to Visit Gaza, Kuwait Protests Continue
Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani is planning to visit the Gaza Strip on October 23 as part of a major investment project in the Palestinian territory. “The blockage of construction materials and equipment for reconstruction projects in Gaza has been completely lifted. That’s what we were informed by the Egyptian president,” said Qatar’s ambassador, Mohammed al-Emadi. Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, “We find it weird that the Emir doesn’t support all of the Palestinians but sides with Hamas over the Palestinian Authority, which he has never visited.” Palestinian Authority officials expressed concern the visit may benefit Hamas’ standing among not only Palestinians, but also among Arabs, Islamic organizations, and the international community. U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark C. Toner said “our position towards Hamas has not changed. We still view them as a designated foreign terrorist organization.”
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s opposition confirmed it will continue to demonstrate, a day after violent clashes between erupted in Kuwait on Sunday. Director of the Kuwait Society of Human Rights, Mohammad al-Humaidi, estimated the number of wounded protesters exceeded 100. “Despite the government’s oppressive measures, we affirm that we will continue with the protest campaign,” the opposition said. “Unfortunately, we are heading towards the unknown … I expect more protests, more demonstrations and more confrontations,” said political analyst Ayed al-Manna. Investors dumped stocks due tothe political protests, causing Kuwait’s stock market to fall sharply. The Kuwaiti government has banned public gatherings of more than 20 people, and has given police the authority to disperse any illegal gatherings.