Hamas leaders said looking at leaving Qatar amid growing pressure in hostage talks

Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (R), ruler of Qatar since 2013, in a meeting with Hamas politburo leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and official Khaled Mashal in Doha, October 17, 2016 (Qatar government handout)
Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (R), ruler of Qatar since 2013, in a meeting with Hamas politburo leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and official Khaled Mashal in Doha, October 17, 2016 (Qatar government handout)

Hamas’s political chiefs are exploring moving their base of operations out of Qatar, The Wall Street Journal reports, as the Gulf state is increasingly being pressed to prod the terror group in indirect hostage-for-truce negotiations with Israel.

Citing Arab officials, the report says Hamas has recently contacted two regional countries about having its leaders live there, one of which is Oman.

“The talks have already stalled again with barely any signs or prospects for them to resume any time soon, and distrust is rising between Hamas and the negotiators,” an Arab mediator is quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Another Arab mediator warns “the possibility of the talks being upended entirely is very real,” with the report saying Hamas leaders have faced threats of expulsion if they don’t agree to a hostage deal.

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