Qatar says state news agency hacked

25 May, 2017, 09:24 | Author: Elaine Woods

The disputed Qatar news agency report also described Hamas - considered a terrorist organization by the US and European Union - as the official representative of Palestinians, according to Arabic media.

The video footage broadcast through Sky News raised questions about the authenticity of the statements which, if proved correct, would lead to a political crisis in the Arabic political arena, especially between Egypt and Qatar, whose bilateral relations have been witnessing instability since 2013.

Qatar got into a war of words with some Gulf Arab allies on Wednesday after it said hackers had posted fake remarks by its emir against USA foreign policy, but their state-run media reported the comments anyway. The development prompted Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to respond by blocking Qatari media, including broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television ran a story titled "Proof that Qatar News Agency was not hacked", which noted that the statement had also run on Qatari state television and the QNA Instagram account. Iran denies that and says Saudi Arabia, the dominant GCC power, supports militant Islamist armed groups such as al Qaeda and Islamic State.

Despite the emir allegedly Saying that the relations with Israel are "good", he went on to describe Hamas - which is designated as a terrorist organization by the US, EU and Israel and is condemned even by Arab countries for firing missiles towards civilians - as the "official representative of Palestinians".

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Doha in 2014 after disagreements over Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood boiled over.

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In this November 1, 2006 file photo, a Qatari employee of Al Jazeera Arabic language TV news channel walks past the logo of Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar. The authorities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also briefly blocked the website and cable broadcasting from Al Jazeera, the Qatar-sponsored global news channel.

The Emir said Al-Udeid Air Base, which houses both Qatari Air Force and US Air Force, is protecting Doha from some neighboring countries, without mentioning any names. It declined to comment further. Qatar is wary of Iran, but is not aligned with Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the issue, in part because of a shared major gas field.

Eight months later, they returned their ambassadors as Qatar asked some Brotherhood members to leave the country and quieted others.

The agency's official Twitter account has also been attacked.

Qatar is also home to the former Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled Meshaal, who has lived there in exile for several years. "Qatar likes to write this off as a campaign based on lies and ulterior motives, but if Qatar didn't has the sort of problematic record it has, it wouldn't be the target for this".

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