Yair Lapid
Yair LapidElad Gutman

Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Monday held a phone call with the Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Al Thani, i24NEWS reported.

The call came days ahead of the arrival of thousands of Israeli soccer fans to the Gulf nation and after the historic agreement to open an Israeli consular office in Qatar during the mega soccer event which was announced last week.

The Prime Minister's office refused to comment.

Nearly 30,000 Israelis are expected to travel to Qatar to attend matches at the hotly anticipated World Cup, taking place from November 20 to December 18.

According to the agreement announced last Thursday, Israelis and Palestinian Arabs will be allowed to attend matches at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Direct charter flights will be temporarily operated between Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and Hamad International Airport in Doha by an airline with existing landing rights in Qatar for the duration of the FIFA World Cup, subject to Israel's security requirements and operational capabilities. Visitors will need a registered Hayya (the fan ID required for entry into Qatar during the tournament) and have a valid flight ticket to travel to and from Qatar.

Consular services for Israeli citizens will be provided in coordination with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs through a designated privately-operated international travel company based in Doha. Palestinians will have access to consular services at the Palestinian embassy in Doha.

Hours after the agreement was announced, a Qatari official told Reuters that his country had warned Israel that any “escalation” would result in the cancellation of the deal.

Qatar has in recent years had an ongoing engagement with Israel over aid to Gaza. Qatar has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to pay for electricity in the Strip, build new roads and hospitals, help Hamas cover the salaries of its civil servants and provide monthly stipends to poor families.

Israel has approved the transfer of the Qatari money and has come under fire for doing so as Hamas continues to regularly fire rockets at Israeli towns in the south.

Despite these engagements, Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, ruled out the prospect of his country normalizing relations with Israel earlier this year.

In an interview with Axios in February, Al Thani said that Qatar had previously maintained ties with Israel "when there was prospects for peace" with the Palestinian Arabs, but that his country "lost hope" after the 2008-2009 Gaza War.

He added that Qatar continues its "working relationship" to help the Palestinian people, but that it is difficult to envision joining the Abraham Accords "in the absence of a real commitment to a two-state solution."