Hamas Chairman Khaled Mashaal is reportedly considering leaving Qatar after news broke that several Muslim Brotherhood officials have been politely asked to depart the country. A Tunisian newspaper reported that Mashaal is contemplating a move to Tunisia, Turkey, or Malaysia.
On Monday, Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan denied the Arab media reports, instead suggesting that Hamas-Qatar relations were “passing through an extraordinary phase.”
Qatar has reportedly asked top Muslim Brotherhood officials to leave their country. However, there has not yet been official public commentary on the matter. The country has in the past unapologetically defended the Brotherhood as a peaceful entity.
According to its founding covenant, Hamas is “one of the wings of [the] Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.”
On Sunday, a leader of the banned Brotherhood in Egypt thanked Qatar for its hospitality in providing them with refuge. “We appreciate the great role of the state of Qatar in supporting the Egyptian people in their revolution against the military junta, and well understand the circumstances faced by the region,” said Dr. Amr Darrag, a prominent member in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. “In order to avoid causing any embarrassment for the State of Qatar, which we found to be very welcoming and supportive host, some symbols of the Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing … have now honored their request,” he added, after promising that the “revolution would continue” against the government of Egypt under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
In Late August, the Egyptian President said Qatar was working with the Brotherhood to incite chaos and promote regime change in the Middle East. “Qatar, Turkey and the international organization of the Brotherhood are currently establishing many companies, newspapers, and websites. They allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to spread chaos among the Arab nation, destabilizing Egypt and destroying the Egyptians,” Sisi said in a meeting with Egyptian newspaper outlets.
Qatar is also playing host to five top Taliban commanders, who were traded by the Obama administration for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.