The Qatari government has tried to de-escalate the the Israel-Hamas war by trying to negotiate prisoner swaps, according to news reports.
But social media claims say Qatar’s emir has issued a threat with global consequences if Israel doesn’t stop bombing Gaza in retaliation for Hamas’ terrorist attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7.
A caption on an Oct. 11 Facebook post read, “The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has threatened that if the bombing of Gaza does not stop, he will cut off the supply of gas to the world.”
The Facebook post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
Qatar is the third-largest exporter of natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and has been a key supplier in Europe after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
We could find no credible news reports that al-Thani or any Qatari government official has threatened to cut off gas supplies in searches of Google and the Nexis database. Nor could we find any such statements on a Qatar government communications office website or the state-run Qatar News Agency’s website.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Qatar Oct. 13 to meet with al-Thani and Qatar’s prime minister. There was no mention of gas supplies in a news conference from Qatar or in news coverage of the visit.
Qatar-based online news site Doha News on Oct. 12 reported that the claim surfaced on X, formerly Twitter, on an account called “@qattar_affairs,” which has since been suspended. We found another post on X (archived) with more than 290,000 views making the claim and citing that same post from @qattar_affairs in a reply as evidence.
Marc Owen Jones, a Middle East studies professor at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar, described @qattar_affairs as a “fake news account” and “not a credible source.” The account’s previous incarnation, @Qatar_Affairs, was also suspended, Jones wrote on X.
The claim that Qatar has threatened to withhold its gas supply to the world is False.