(JNS.org) Against the backdrop of a major rift between Qatar and Arab states, Hamas arch-terrorist Saleh al-Arouri and other terrorists from the Gaza-ruling group have reportedly been expelled from Doha due to unspecified “pressure.”
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed ties with Qatar Monday over Qatar’s support for terrorism. Al-Arouri, a Hamas commander, served several terms in Israeli prisons and was released in March 2010, purportedly amid negotiations for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity.
Al-Arouri has gloated of his role in the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenage boys, which led to the outbreak of a 50-day war between Hamas and Israel in the summer of 2014. Hamas denied reports of its members being expelled from Qatar, but Israel’s Army Radio reported Al-Arouri has relocated to Malaysia.
Qatar has long served as a safe haven for Hamas terrorists and has been heavily criticized by Israel, the U.S., Egypt and Saudi Arabia for its direct support of the Palestinian terror group. Qatar reportedly pledged more than $400 million to Hamas in October 2012 during a visit to Gaza by the oil-rich Arab state’s ruling emir at the time, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
“Hamas would not be able to survive in the Gaza Strip or fund its wars with Israel without Qatari funding,” Israel’s former emissary in Qatar, Eli Avidar, told Israel’s 103 FM radio station Monday.