Economy Minister Nir Barkat criticized Qatar on Thursday, prompting the Qatari Foreign Ministry to fire back.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Barkat said he didn’t trust Qatar to act as a mediator with Hamas and accused the Gulf country of “funding terror all over the world.”

“They’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We must wake up,” he added.

Majed Al Ansari, the spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, later responded to Barkat, writing on social media, “Yet another headline seeking politician in Israel is using ‘Qatar-bashing’ as a means to further his own political future. Rather than being preoccupied with supporting in the efforts to secure a deal, Minister Barkat finds his time is better spent attacking the mediators who are working round the clock to reach a deal that ensures the release of hostages and stop the bloodshed.”

“Spreading lies and baseless accusations about the country that helped secure the release of 109 hostages and is relentlessly working on the release of the remaining hostages, is another sign of political recklessness and selfishness,” added Al Ansari.

Qatar, which is a key backer of Hamas and does not have diplomatic ties with Israel, has served as a mediator between Israel and Hamas in talks on a hostage release deal.

The two countries have also had an ongoing engagement in recent years over aid to Gaza.

With Israel’s consent, Qatar has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza in recent years, most of which went directly to Hamas. Critics of the Israeli government say the policy of “containing” Hamas by permitting the Qatari money is one factor that encouraged the group to carry out its attack on Israel on October 7.

The talks on a hostage deal have moved to Cairo in recent days, though those have also stalled. Barkat told Bloomberg on Thursday he trusts Egypt, a country with which Israel has formal diplomatic ties.