DOHA, Dec 5 — Qatar’s ruler hit out at what he labelled “shameful” international inaction over the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza as he opened a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Doha today.

“It is shameful for the international community to allow this heinous crime to continue for nearly two months, during which the systematic and deliberate killing of innocent civilians continues, including women and children,” Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said.

Israel declared war on Hamas after the militant group’s October 7 attacks that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and which saw around 240 hostages taken, according to Israeli authorities.

In retaliation for the worst attack in its history, Israel has vowed to eradicate Hamas and secure the release of all the hostages held in Gaza.

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The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says the war has killed nearly 15,900 people in the territory, around 70 per cent of them women and children.

Qatar was a key mediator in negotiations that resulted in the release of scores of Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinians prisoners and humanitarian aid access during a seven-day truce which ended on Friday.

Both Hamas and Israel have blamed each other for the end of the humanitarian pause and renewed violence in the territory.

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The Qatari ruler said his country was “constantly working to renew” the truce, which he added was “not an alternative to a permanent ceasefire”.

He called for “an international investigation into the massacres committed by Israel” and condemned the targeting of civilians of all nationalities and religions. — AFP