In a fiery exchange, Fox News’ Peter Doocy confronted the Biden Administration’s national security spokesperson, John Kirby, on Thursday regarding its friendly approach towards Qatar, even though it is the home of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. The confrontation occurred after President Biden expressed gratitude to Qatar for its role in securing the release of American hostages in Gaza.
Undeterred by Kirby’s response, Doocy persisted, highlighting the fact that Hamas is a terrorist group responsible for the deaths and kidnappings of Americans in recent weeks. Kirby defended Qatar’s role, emphasizing its crucial contribution in facilitating the release of American hostages and underscoring its significance as a critical player in the negotiations.
Kirby elaborated, “Qatar possesses lines of communication with Hamas that are nearly exclusive. I want to clarify that we do not endorse or support Hamas. They are recognized as a terrorist organization, and Israel has every right to take action against them. However, Qatar’s unique lines of communication enable us to engage with them effectively.”
Kirby’s explanation aimed to highlight Qatar’s value in terms of communication channels without endorsing or condoning Hamas. The focus remained on Qatar’s role in facilitating dialogue and negotiations rather than addressing the issue of Qatar hosting the Hamas leader.
Despite Kirby’s response, Doocy continued to challenge the White House’s stance. “If Qatar is so helpful, why aren’t we asking them to hand over the leader of this terrorist group?” he questioned. Kirby reiterated that the focus was on working with Qatar to secure the release of American hostages and provide humanitarian aid to Gaza. Still, he did not directly address the issue of Qatar allowing the Hamas leader to reside in the country.
The exchange highlighted the tension between the White House’s appreciation for Qatar’s assistance in hostage negotiations and the concerns over its relationship with Hamas. As the conversation unfolded, Doocy’s persistent questioning underscored the need for clarity on the administration’s stance regarding Qatar’s association with Hamas.
Since the outbreak of the conflict on October 7th, Qatar has played a crucial role in hosting the negotiations between Israel and Hamas regarding the release of hostages. Currently, there are approximately 200 individuals, including American hostages, being held in Gaza. It is worth noting that Hamas has already released two American hostages as part of the ongoing negotiations facilitated by Qatar.