Organizers of the Asian Cup in Qatar, which will be held in early 2024 in Qatar, announced on Monday that ticket sales will be donated to help Palestinians in the midst of the war between Israel and Hamas. "We have decided to donate the revenue generated by the tickets sold for the Asian Cup in Qatar to provide much-needed aid in Palestine," said the president of the organising committee, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, without specifying whether all of the revenue, or only part of it, was affected.
On 7 October, Hamas commandos launched an attack from the Gaza Strip on Israeli soil on a scale and violence unprecedented since the creation of Israel in 1948, killing around 1,200 people, most of them civilians, according to the Israeli authorities. The Palestinian Islamist movement also took more than 240 people hostage and took them to Gaza.
In retaliation for the attack, which traumatized the country, Israel has vowed to "annihilate" Hamas and has been relentlessly pounding Palestinian territory, where its army has also been waging a ground offensive since October 27. But the scale of the destruction and the death toll have provoked condemnation from part of the international community. According to Hamas' Health Ministry, 13,000 people, including more than 5,500 children, were killed in the Israeli shelling.
Hamas political office in Doha
Some 1.6 million of the 2.4 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, according to the UN, have also been displaced by the war in the small, overcrowded territory, which has been under a "complete siege" by Israel since 9 October, blocking deliveries of food, water, electricity and medicine.
Qatar is currently mediating to try to secure the release of the Hamas hostages in exchange for a truce, and said on Sunday that only "very minor" obstacles to a deal remained, without providing a timetable. Doha, which hosts a Hamas political bureau and has provided millions of dollars in financial aid to Gaza, was already involved in the mediation that led to the release last month of four of the hostages: an American woman and her daughter and two Israeli women.
- Israeli-Palestinian conflict