Mashaal (R) in Qatar this week
Photo: EPA

Report: Mashaal temporarily moves Hamas HQ to Qatar

Palestinian sources say terror group leader won't return to Damascus at this time due to volatile security situation and to avoid row with Muslim Brotherhood

Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal will not be returning to Damascus at this time and is expected to temporarily carry out Hamas activities from Qatar, Asharq Al-Awsat reported Thursday.


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Mashaal was quoted by the London-based Arabic newspaper as saying he cannot receive visitors in Syria due to the volatile security situation there. The Hamas leader mentioned that last January he was forced to meet Swiss envoy to the Middle East Jean-Daniel Ruch in Cairo because the diplomat refused to visit Damascus.


Asharq Al-Awsat quoted Palestinian sources as saying that most senior Hamas operatives have already left Syria, adding that the Islamist group's leaders do not plan on returning to Damascus at this stage, in part because the Muslim Brotherhood, which is linked to Hamas, has a key role in the uprising against President Bashar Assad.


However, the report on the relocation to Qatar has not been confirmed by any Hamas politburo member, and the Islamist group is keeping its Damascus offices open for the time being.


According to reports, Hamas operatives have left Syria and moved to various Arab states. Mashaal's family moved to Jordan; his deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk, moved to Cairo with his family; Muhammad Nazal and Sami Khatar have also relocated to Jordan with their families, but they are prohibited from engaging in any activities on Hamas' behalf.


Other Hamas operatives have relocated to Beirut, Gaza and other locations.


Meanwhile, Hamas leaders are continuing to criticize the agreement between Mashaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to which Abbas will head an interim unity government until elections are held for the Palestinian parliament and presidency.



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פרסום ראשון: 02.09.12, 17:57
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