By: Umme Kulsum
October 16 2023
Screenshots of viral claims. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
A May 2017 video of a speech by the Emir of Qatar at the 17th Doha Forum is being shared with false narratives.
What's the claim?
Amid the war between Israel and Hamas, a video of a speech by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is spreading across social media platforms, claiming he has issued a global threat to shut off the world's gas supply if Israel does not cease its attack on Gaza. A Facebook user shared the Arabic language video with the caption, "Qatari authorities are threatening to create a global gas shortage as part of their support for Palestine. "If the bombing of Gaza does not stop, we will cut off the gas supply to the world," said Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani." Archived versions of such posts can be found here, here, and here.
The video is also viral on X (formerly Twitter), with posts carrying the same narrative getting over nine million views and over 14,000 reshares. Archive versions of the posts can be found here and here.
Screenshots of claims made online (Source: Facebook/X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, the video is unrelated to the recent conflict, and Qatar has not issued any such global threat to shut off the gas supply.
What are the facts?
Logically Facts found the longer version of the viral video on YouTube shared by Doha Forum nearly six years ago, on May 14, 2017. The video's title read, "Opening Speech by: H.H. Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar." The description stated that the clip was from the Doha Forum held in 2017, and Emir's speech (also spelled as Amir) can be heard between 3:25-3:32 into the 11-minute-long clip. The Emir in Qatar is the monarch and the head of the State.
We also found the same longer version of the video published by Aljazeera Mubasher on May 14, 2023. The video's description stated that the Emir of Qatar discussed development, stability, and refugee issues at the 17 Doha Forum. The video is titled in Arabic (translated to English), "Emir of Qatar: The Palestinian issue is the issue of a people uprooted from their land and displaced from their homeland."
Screenshot of the YouTube video (Source: Aljazeera Mubasher/YouTube)
Logically Facts contacted language experts to translate the viral video. The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, says, "The issue of Palestine began as an issue of people uprooted from their land."
We were also able to locate the official transcript of the address, which was published on the Permanent Committee for Organising Conferences website, which is affiliated with the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the 17th edition of the Doha Forum that was held on May 14, 2017, the Emir addressed several issues, including the Palestinian refugees, the Syrian civil war, and the Iraq refugees. The Emir stressed the increasing conflicts and crises that have led to the displacement of millions of refugees around the world.
At the event, the Emir said, "This is why it is true to say that the Palestine issue started as a cause of people who have been uprooted from their land; other cases are relatively recent, such as the situation of displaced Iraqis fleeing the siege and war, while some of them were displaced on sectarian cleansing background." There is no mention of gas supply in the transcript of the video.
Therefore, it is clear that the Arabic clip of the Emir of Qatar speaking is not related to the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, nor did he say anything about the gas supply. The video in circulation is a six-year-old video from the Doha Forum.
According to the "About" page of the Doha Forum website, the Doha Forum is an annual event held in Doha that serves as a platform for leaders, policymakers, and experts from around the world to discuss and exchange ideas on various global issues, including politics, economics, security, and development.
Qatar's official stance on the recent Israel-Hamas conflict
According to Reuters, "Qatari mediators have held urgent calls to try to negotiate freedom for Israeli women and children seized by the militant group and held in Gaza in exchange for the release of 36 Palestinian women and children from Israel's prisons."
Furthermore, on October 13, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Qatar to meet with Qatar's prime minister Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, where they mainly discussed Israel's retaliation to the Hamas attack. Al Thani said, "Qatar's diplomatic priorities are to achieve an immediate ceasefire, protect civilians, ensure the release of prisoners, and work towards limiting the expansion of violence and the cycle of conflict in the region, which will inevitably result in serious consequences."
We found no mainstream media reports stating Al-Thani had threatened to cut off gas supplies. We also could not find any such remarks on the official website of the Qatar government communications office.
An old, unrelated video of the Qatari Emir has gone viral with false claims. Qatar has made no such official statement threatening to cut off the gas supply to the world.