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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Do strained ties with Qatar mean a blow for Hamas?

An Arab university president on Tuesday warned that the chasm between Qatar and several of its Arab neighbors may harm Hamas.
 
"Assuming that the Arab states continue to pressure Qatar, Hamas could lose the different forms of political, financial and logistical support it receives from Qatar," Bir Zeit University Vice President Ghassan Khatib said. "That would be really bad news for Hamas."
 
"If the pressure continues, Qatar most probably would have to make some adjustments regarding its support for Hamas."
 
Khatib also said the countries' stance against Qatar "indirectly playing into the hands of the Palestinian leadership."
 
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain officially cut ties with Qatar on Sunday, while Jordan announced a similar move on Tuesday.
 
Qatar is considered to be one of Hamas' strongest allies, hosting Hamas politicians and providing a safe haven for its members abroad. The country has spent millions of dollars in support of the Gazan terrorist government. In January, when the Palestinian Authority refused to provide Hamas with dependable electricity, Qatar chipped in to the tune of $12 million.
 
According to the Arab Asharq Al-Awsat news site, "Hamas, a sister movement to the Brotherhood, now fears paying the price of future Qatari-Arab reconciliations, particularly since backing the Brotherhood is one of the major reasons listed by the Arab powers on Monday for severing their diplomatic relations with Qatar."
 
"Concern has spread to the ranks of Hamas...when the movement started to witness changes in Qatari political support, particularly when Doha officially asked Hamas not to use its territories for directing any activities against Israel, as uncovered by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on Sunday. READ MORE