Israel's withdrawal from Gaza seems to have provided impetus for a thawing of relations with some Arab states. Qatar has announced a donation of $6 million fo a stadium to be used by a mixed Jewish—Arab soccer team.
The gift represents the first such funding by an Arab state for any town inside Israel.
The pledge comes amid efforts to improve ties between the Arab world and Israel, following its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last month.
Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, the Qatari emir, authorised the funding after Ahmed Tibi, an Israeli—Arab lawmaker, met senior Qatari officials and members of Qatar's Olympic committee.
Gulf states have previously donated generously to Palestinian areas, but neglected Arab towns within Israel.
The funding will be used to build the 13,000—capacity Doha Stadium in the northern Israeli town of Sakhnin for the Bnei Sakhnin soccer team.
"This is the largest financial support that Sakhnin has ever received... om any outside source," Tibi said.
Ed Lasky 10 12 05