Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has become the unwitting subject of false claims. Image by EPA PHOTO

No, Qatari emir has not issued Gaza ultimatum

Meghan Williams October 20, 2023

The emir of Qatar has threatened to cut off the world’s gas supply if the bombing of Gaza does not stop.


False. He has made no such threat. A video used as evidence to support the claim is from 2017.

Facebook, Instagram, and X users have claimed that the emir of Qatar is threatening to cut off the world’s gas supply if the bombing of Gaza does not stop.

Many of the posts are accompanied by a short video, which users claim show Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani announcing that “if the bombing of Gaza does not stop, we will cut off the gas supply to the world.”

The claim is false. Sheik Al Thani has not announced any intentions to cut off the world’s gas supply. The years-old video is from a speech at the 2017 Doha Forum, during which the emir made a reference to Palestine but didn’t make any such threat.

Versions of the claim appeared as early as October 12, such as here (archived) and here (archived). The claim has since been debunked by several fact-checking outlets — including AP News, USA Today, and Reuters — but dozens of versions of the claim still exist on Facebook (here and here), Instagram (here and here) and X (here and here).

FactCheck Mideast Qatar
 The posts claim the emir threatened to take drastic action in response to the conflict in Gaza. 

Qatar’s International Media Office confirmed the claim is false in a statement to AP Fact Check.

“This is yet another case of an online disinformation against Qatar – such a statement has never been made and never would be,” a representative said. “Qatar does not politicize its LNG supplies or any economic investment.”

Many posts (such as here, here, and here) also contain a video of the emir speaking from a podium in Arabic with no English subtitles. 

The original video of the speech predates the recent outbreak of violence by about six years. The short clip has been taken from the emir’s opening speech (video mark 3 min 24 sec) at the 2017 Doha Forum.

The users claim that his speech translates to: “If the bombing of Gaza doesn’t stop, we will stop gas (sic) supply of the world.”

However, the Qatar News Agency reported at the time that the emir had actually told the forum: “The Palestine issue started as a cause of people who have been uprooted from their land.”

Professor Marc Owen Jones, a Middle East studies expert at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Doha, also told AP Fact Check that the translation of the emir’s words was not correct.

“The exact translation is: ‘The issue of Palestine, I’ll begin by saying it’s a case of a people uprooted from their lands, and displaced from their nation’,” he told AP Fact Check in an email.

The Verdict

The claim that the emir of Qatar has threatened to cut off the world’s gas supply if the bombing of Gaza does not stop is false.

The video used as evidence dates back to 2017. Translation of the speech reveals he made no such threat.

A Qatari government representative also confirmed the emir has made no threats in relation to the conflict in the Middle East.

False — The claim is inaccurate.

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