Sara Netanyahu appeals to mother of Qatar emir for hostage release

Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Missned, chair of the Qatar Foundation. (Photo:

“19 women are enduring unimaginable hardships” in Gaza, the prime minister’s wife wrote.

By Etgar Lefkovits
March 11, 2024

(JNS) — Sara Netanyahu on Monday sent a personal letter to the mother of the Emir of Qatar on the occasion of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on the behest of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

“Ramadan, a time for compassion and generosity, reminds us of the strength we hold when we come together to uphold the values of peace and humanity,” Netanyahu wrote in her appeal to Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Missned.

“It is in this spirit of unity and shared human values that I wish to address a matter of great urgency and importance—the plight of the Israelis abducted and held by Hamas in Gaza,” the letter continued.

“Woman to woman it’s imperative to address that among the hostages, 19 women are enduring unimaginable hardships. Reports of sexual abuse and rape are horrifying, and such acts against women cannot be ignored or tolerated. It is a call to action that transcends political boundaries and speaks to our shared humanity and values,” Sara Netanyahu wrote.

The prime minister’s wife added: “I urge you, in the spirit of Ramadan to leverage your significant influence to work towards the release of the Israeli hostages.”

A copy of the letter was released by the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

Sheikha Moza is the co-founder and chair of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

The letter comes as 134 hostages — including an estimated 70-100 believed to be alive — are being held by the Islamist terrorist group in Gaza, five months after the Oct. 7 massacre that triggered the current war. About 100 of the roughly 250 hostages abducted to Gaza during the attack were released in November.

Weeks-long efforts to reach a cease-fire terrorists-for-captives exchange deal for their release before the start of Ramadan failed to materialize as Hamas refused to accept the terms of an accord put forward by Egyptian and Qatari mediators with American oversight.

Qatar does not have formal relations with Israel.

Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the international community to increase pressure on Qatar to bring about the release of the remaining hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, angering Qatari authorities.

Qatar, which is home to a major American military base, hosts Hamas leaders living in the Gulf state in luxurious exile and, with past Israeli accord, has long funded Hamas in Gaza.

American Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew conceded that the U.S. has a “complicated” relationship with Qatar but said that the Gulf emirate was a key mediator in the hostage talks, and that closing the American base there would not make Israel any safer.

The U.S. is reportedly urging Qatar to banish Hamas leaders if the Islamist terrorist group does not agree to the hostage release deal.

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