Hamas asks Algeria to take in top officials expelled from Qatar: report
Karim Jaafar (Al-Watan Doha/AFP)
After its senior officials were forced to leave its longtime base in Qatar, the Hamas terror organization has approached Algeria and asked it to take in some of its leaders.
According to the London-based Sharq al-Awsat international Arab newspaper, Hamas has sought to dissolve its leadership among several countries including Lebanon, Malaysia, Turkey, and most recently Algeria.
Hamas hopes that Algeria will absorb its spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, who is already currently residing in the country, and to transfer some of its senior members there after Abu Zuhri establishes an office in the capital.
The paper said that Hamas officially approached Algiers with the request, but has yet to receive a response.
Several senior members of the Palestinian Islamist group were deported from Qatar amid a bitter diplomatic fallout with its Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates all of which severed diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations it sponsors terrorism.
The crisis has prompted Hamas to seek to spread its leadership throughout a number of countries, rather than to concentrate its political weight in one location, Sharq al-Awsat said.
Qatar expressed regret over expelling Hamas officials and said its hand was forced by "external pressure."
Doha had been criticized for providing a sanctuary to former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal.
The United States, Israel and the European Union all consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization. Other Arab Gulf countries have frosty ties with the group.
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