The diplomatic row between Qatar and a group of Gulf states including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates escalated further on November 25th when a senior Dubai official called for Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera to be “bombed” out of existence.
A tweet from Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan, the outspoken head of security in Dubai, in a scathing attack on Al Jazeera said: “The alliance must bomb the machine of terrorism … the channel of Daesh, al-Qaeda and the al-Nusra front, Al Jazeera, the terrorists.”
Khalfan, who has some 2.42 million followers on the social media site, tweeted: “For how long will they [Al Jazeera] continue to tamper with the security of Egypt and the Arab world?” The comments were made following the bomb atrocity on a Sufi mosque in Egypt on Friday.
Yaser Abuhilalah, MD of Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language service, in a response, said: “What Dhahi Khalfan is doing is incitement to terrorism. Terrorism is not just limited to committing a crime, but any act or statement that paves the way for a terrorist act or incites it, and incitement to terrorism is terrorism itself.”
“The UAE needs to respond [to Khalfan’s comments]. He’s not just an Emirati citizen but an official in the UAE government,” Abuhilalah told Qatari newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi on November 25th.
The Saudi-led coalition, which includes Egypt, broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar on June 22nd.