Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal gestures as he announces a new policy document in Doha, Qatar, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal gestures as he announces a new policy document in Doha, Qatar, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon

Qatari boycott: Crucial pillar for Fatah/Hamas reconciliation

Thu, Oct. 12, 2017
CAIRO – 12 October 2017: Amid the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas mediated by Egypt, there have been arguments that Qatar's boycott by the quartet contributed significantly to the success of that initiative after Hamas had lost one of its major allies.

Abdellatif El-Mennawy, the former news sector head at Egypt’s state TV, suggests in an op-ed published in The Independent that the embargo imposed on Qatar came in parallel to the defeat and retreat of Islamist militias and guerilla groups in the region due Qatar’s inability to provide them with funds and military aids.

Among these is Hamas, which has also been negatively affected by the weakening of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood - its parent organization - in Egypt as its members have been subject to prosecution for planning and executing different terror attacks on civilians, police and army forces. The Brotherhood has been backed by Qatar as well.
As CNN reported, “In the fall of 2012, the head of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, visited the Gaza Strip becoming the first world leader to do so under Hamas' control. The emir inaugurated projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In the vacuum left by other countries, Qatar saw its influence over the Strip rising quickly.”

In 2010, WikiLeaks published 251,287 leaked diplomatic cables, mostly from 2003 to 2010. Of them, 536 reference both Qatar and Hamas, and 70 relate to Qatar and terrorism financing. In 2009, a cable from then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton inquired about Qatar’s relations with Iran, and Iran’s interest in Gaza, according to Jerusalem Post.

Throughout its years of support to Hamas, Qatar has been encouraging the rift between Fatah and Hamas instead of uniting under the umbrella of the Palestinian Authority, and pushing Hamas to refute the two-state-solution, which could bring peace between Israel and Palestine.
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