Hamas sources deny Egypt, Qatar threatened arrest of leaders if they didn’t okay Gaza deal

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, right, talks to Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, before their meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not in picture), in Cairo, Egypt, March 21, 2024. (AP/Amr Nabil)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, right, talks to Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, before their meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not in picture), in Cairo, Egypt, March 21, 2024. (AP/Amr Nabil)

Egypt and Qatar did not threaten to arrest Hamas leaders if they did not accept the latest hostage deal proposal, Hamas sources tell the state-owned Saudi Al Arabiya outlet.

The Hamas sources reject a Wall Street Journal report from Friday that claimed the two mediator countries turned up the pressure on Hamas’s leadership in Doha to sign a deal presented by the White House for a truce in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages held there.

According to the Journal, which cited unnamed officials familiar with the negotiations, the two countries threatened the terror group’s leaders with sanctions, including the freezing of their assets, expulsion from the Qatari capital and arrests. This was reportedly at the prodding of the Biden administration.

The Al Arabiya report only mentions the threat of arrest, and does not address the claims of warnings of other potential sanctions.

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