Qatar and Mauritania freeze ties with Israel

Qatar and Mauritania have announced they are freezing their relations with Israel in protest at the continued attacks in the Gaza Strip. The decision was announced on Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera news channel.


AFP - Qatar and Mauritania decided on Friday to "suspend" their relations with Israel, at an Arab summit in Doha called to discuss the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, a Mauritanian diplomat told AFP.

"Mauritania and Qatar have decided during a meeting behind closed doors to suspend their ties with Israel," the diplomat, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

The decision was announced earlier on the Qatari-owned al-Jazeera news channel, without giving further details on the initiative, which was called for by several leaders at the Doha summit.

Qatar has hosted an Israeli trade bureau since 1996, while Mauritania has had diplomatic ties with the Jewish state since 1999.

Mauritania called back its ambassador in Israel in the wake of the attacks Israel launched on the Gaza Strip on December 27.

The Iranian and Syrian presidents, along with exiled chief of Hamas Khaled Meshaal, had called at the summit's opening session on all countries to sever their ties with the Jewish state.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had also appealed on nations to boycott all Israeli products.

The deadly Israeli attacks have in 21 days killed over 1,100 dead and have left another 5,000 wounded in Gaza, one of the world's most densely populated territories and home to some 1.5 million people.

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