Did Qatar Offer to Fund Displacement of Gaza’s Refugees?

A screen shot of the WSJ article, displayed by popular Egyptian blogger, Lofty Zakaria. (Photo: Lofty Zakaria YouTube, image grab)

Some Arab media and influencers, like Abdel Bari Atwan and Lotfy Zakaria, among others, have accused Qatar of being involved in an American scheme to displace 1.5 million Palestinians from Gaza into the Sinai desert.

They claim that Egypt has strongly rejected the proposal, provided by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, although intense pressures are still being put on Egypt, especially as Cairo is struggling under an immense and growing economic crisis. 

But where do these claims come from?

The main reference behind this claim is an article published by the WSJ, which wrote on October 15 that,

“Egypt is coming under intense pressure to allow refugees to cross the border and escape an Israeli bombing campaign and expected ground invasion.” It added,

“Gulf states, which had resisted providing cash to Egypt, have floated the idea of giving Egypt financial aid in return for accepting Palestinian refugees.”

Speaking in Arabic, Zakaria, who is a popular Egypt blogger, said that there was a passage in the article that singled out Qatar in particular, claiming that the passage has been removed, where the word Qatar, was replaced by “Gulf countries”.

Although The Palestine Chronicle could not locate a direct copy or image of the original Wall Street Journal report before the correction was made on October 16, Zaharia has provided a copy of the corrected version as an image in his video. (Please see above.)

The correction reads as follows:

Correction and amplifications: “Israeli and Qatari delegations have been in Cairo in recent days to discuss how Palestinians can evacuate in the event of an Israeli ground invasion. An earlier version of this article uncorrected said Qatar tried to convince Egypt to take in Palestinians.” (Corrected on October 16).

The new version of the WSJ report clearly indicates Doha’s leading role in the US-led negotiations with Egypt.

To our best knowledge the Qatari government and media didn’t confirm or deny the claims made in the leading US newspapers.

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(The Palestine Chronicle)

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