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Qatar closes Israeli trade office

Qatar has closed Israel's trade office in the small Gulf Arab state and ordered its staff to leave because of the Israeli offensive on Gaza.

world Updated: Jan 19, 2009 08:46 IST

Qatar has closed Israel's trade office in the small Gulf Arab state and ordered its staff to leave because of the Israeli offensive on Gaza.

The Qatar News Agency says the head of the Israeli trade office was summoned on Sunday morning and given a memorandum containing the decision to close the office, according to the Foreign Ministry.

QNA said the office's staff have seven days to leave the country.

Qatar is the only Gulf Arab state to have ties with Israel.

The Jewish state's offensive in Gaza to halt Hamas rocket fire has left over 1,200 Palestinians dead and outraged Arabs and Muslims.

Qatar and fellow Arab League member Mauritania on Friday said they had frozen relations with Israel.