Qatar mulls on whether to continue mediating and the future of the Hamas office in Doha.

Mohamed Shalaby - | Arab

According to an official acquainted with the Qatari government's reevaluation, Qatar may close the political office of Hamas as part of a larger review of its role as a mediator in the conflict between Israel and the violent Palestinian group.

According to the official who spoke to Reuters, the Gulf state was debating whether to let Hamas keep running the political office and whether to carry out further mediation in the seven-month war as part of a larger review.

Last month, Qatar announced that it was reassessing its role as a go-between in the indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas, citing worries that politicians attempting to gain political points were undermining its efforts.

They won't see the value in holding the political office if Qatar isn't going to mediate. Thus, that is a component of the reevaluation," the official stated while remaining anonymous.

In the unlikely event if the Qatari government decided to close the organization's headquarters, the official was unsure if Hamas would be required to depart Doha. The official did, however, state that Qatar will evaluate its own participation in light of Israel's and Hamas' actions during the current negotiations.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that an unidentified US official had warned Washington that Doha could banish Hamas from the country if the organization doesn't agree to a cease-fire with Israel.

According to a Hamas official speaking to Reuters, Hamas negotiators arrived in Cairo on Saturday for further discussions on a potential Gaza truce that would involve the release of certain hostages and their return to Israel.

Since 2012, Hamas' top officials have been hosted by Qatar as part of an agreement with the United States.

The leader of the group, Ismail Haniyeh, resides in Doha and has traveled widely, notably to Turkey, since the October 7th, fatal Hamas raid on southern Israel.

Washington has recognized Qatar as a major non-NATO ally. Since October 7, Israel and the United States have criticized Qatar for its ties to Hamas. Qatar is a powerful Gulf state.

According to Israeli counts, the Oct. 7 onslaught claimed the lives of almost 1,200 people and kidnapped 253, of whom 133 are said to be held captive in Gaza. According to health officials in the enclave, Israel's subsequent military assault on the Gaza Strip has resulted in the deaths of over 34,000 Palestinians.

Legislators in the US have demanded that President Joe Biden's administration reconsider its relationship with Qatar in the event that it does not put pressure on Hamas to reach a hostage-release agreement. Qatar has been asked by others to sever ties with Hamas.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, has also urged Qatar to put pressure on Hamas. Although there are no formal relations between Israel and Qatar, its representatives meet to discuss the mediation efforts.

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Mohamed Shalaby
Mohamed Shalaby
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