newsIsrael at War

Hamas officials quit Qatar, shut down cellphones

The terrorist leaders left for Algeria, Beirut, Iran and other countries.

Doha, Qatar. Credit: Pixabay.
Doha, Qatar. Credit: Pixabay.

Several Hamas leaders recently left Qatar together with their entourages, cutting off communications including cellphones.

The leaders left for Algeria, Lebanon, Iran and other countries, according to sources cited by Kan News’s Arabic channel.

Among Hamas leaders living in Qatar are Ismail Haniyeh, head of the terrorist group’s political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzook and Khaled Mashal. They live a life of luxury in the Gulf state even as most Palestinians in Gaza live in abject poverty.

Officially a major non-NATO ally of the U.S., Qatar, which opened an office for Hamas in 2012, has come under criticism from Congress for backing the terrorist group. A bipartisan group of 113 U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Oct. 16 asking him to put pressure on countries, including Qatar, that support Hamas.

Another Hamas leader, Saleh al-Arouri, who lives in Lebanon, also has moved location to Turkey. Al-Arouri is typically located in the southern suburbs of Beirut, where Hezbollah’s power base is located. There, he coordinated between the two groups and organized activities of Hamas’s Lebanon branch, the Kan report said.

The recent movement of Hamas leaders may be related to Israel’s promise to wipe out the terrorist group’s leadership wherever it is found. Ronen Bar, head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), said on Dec. 3 that Israel will eliminate the leaders of Hamas in Qatar and Turkey.

Following Bar’s comments, a Turkish intelligence official told Reuters that there would be “serious consequences” if Israel attempted to pursue senior Hamas officials “outside the Palestinian territories,” whether in Turkey or elsewhere. The warning was delivered to Israel “following the statements of officials,” according to the source.

As a result, al-Arouri may have felt safer in Turkey, contradicting his past statements that “we are never afraid to die as martyrs.”

Although al-Arouri holds the No. 2 spot in Hamas, a Kan News report in September described him as “the most dangerous man in Hamas,” a puppet master pulling the strings behind the scenes.

He has repeatedly called for violence against Israelis in Judea and Samaria. “Don’t let them feel secure while they’re in our land. Cause them to lose a feeling of security and to lose hope so that they’ll leave and go someplace else,” he has said.

He was imprisoned by Israel for terrorist activities almost continuously from 1992 to 2010.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates