Qatar established trade relations with the State of Israel in 1996. In January 2008 Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani in Switzerland, at the Davos Economic Forum. Some sources have said that a senior figure from Qatar paid a visit to Israel in mid-January 2008 and met with Israeli leaders to discuss the situation in Gaza and the possibility of jump starting stagnant negotiations over the release of Gilad Shalit.
Despite Qatar's support of Hamas and its good relations with Hezbollah, Israeli leaders have maintained direct contact with the emirate. In January 2007, in his last months as vice premier, current President Shimon Peres paid a high-profile visit to the capital city of Doha. Peres also visited Qatar in 1996, when he launched the new Israeli trade bureau there.
Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni also met with the Qatari Emir at a UN conference in 2008. In April 2008, she visited Qatar where she attended a conference and met the Emir, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Oil and Gas.
In 2010, Qatar twice offered to restore trade relations with Israel and allow the reinstatement of the Israeli mission in Doha, on condition that Israel allow Qatar to send building materials and money to Gaza to help rehabilitate infrastructure, and that Israel make a public statement expressing appreciation for Qatar's role and acknowledging its standing in the Middle East. Israel refused on the grounds that Qatari supplies could be used by Hamas to build bunkers and reinforced positions from which to fire rockets at Israeli cities and towns, and that Israel did not want to get involved in the competition between Qatar and Egypt over the Middle East mediation.
In 2013, Qatar reportedly assisted in an Israeli operation to bring a group of Yemenite Jews to Israel. The claim was made by an Iranian source. According to the source, 60 Jews fleeing Yemen were allowed to transition from Doha on a flight to Israel.
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- Tamara Walid (2013-07-29). "Qatar would 'welcome' Israel in 2022 - The National". Thenational.ae. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
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- "Qatar Helping Yemenite Jews Reach Israel? - Jewish World - News". Israel National News. 2013-01-21. Retrieved 2013-08-16.