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Qatar reportedly expels 2 top Hamas officials from Doha

June 6, 2017 1:44 P.M. (Updated: June 6, 2017 5:28 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Despite the Hamas movement denying that the Qatari government had called for the expulsion of Hamas officials from Doha, reports emerged in Israeli media on Monday that at least two senior officials had been made to leave the Gulf country.

Quoting unnamed Palestinian sources, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Saleh al-Aruri and Moussa Dudin, who were senior leaders of the occupied West Bank branch of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, had been expelled from Qatar, with al-Aruri ending up in Malaysia, while Dudin's whereabouts remained unclear.

Qatar has long supported the Hamas movement, and hosts a number of senior Hamas officials outside of the besieged Gaza Strip, where the resistance group is the de facto ruling party.

Lebanon-based news channel Al-Mayadeen reported days ago that Qatar asked Hamas officials to leave the country following pressures from abroad, as six Arab countries -- including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates -- dramatically cut ties with the small Gulf state on Monday after accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism.

Al-Mayadeen had reported that the list of Hamas officials requested to leave Qatar could be extended.

However, Hamas denied the reports on Sunday, saying they came from news outlets accustomed to "disseminating false news and information about the movement to harm its image and try to harm its foreign relations."

The statement went on to imply that some Hamas leaders would “leave Qatar,” but as part of some “reshuffling” following the election of Ismail Haniyeh as the new leader of the movement’s politburo, as Haniyeh lives in Gaza whereas former leader of the politburo Khalid Meshaal lives in exile in Qatar.
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