Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Doha, Qatar on Saturday to attend the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup, as he faced backlash at home for the reported exorbitant costs of his trip.
Abbas and his entourage were welcomed at the airport by the PA’s Ambassador to Qatar Munir Abdullah Ghannam and Qatari businessman Sheikh Fahad Bin Faisal Bin Thani al-Thani.
WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency, with a highlighted section dedicated to covering the daily activities of Abbas, did not report his trip to Qatar.
His trip followed an outcry at home over leaked documents purportedly showing the embattled leader traveling to Qatar with a large entourage of close family members and aids. The documents, which appeared earlier this month but were not independently authenticated, also showed hotel bills of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The papers first appeared on social media pages associated with Hamas, the terror group that rules the Gaza Strip since ousting pro-Abbas forces in 2007.
Based in the West Bank, the PA has increasingly become unpopular over accusations of corruption, silencing of critics, and mismanagement that exasperated its financial crisis.
Leaked documents show hotel bills reaching half a million shekels for Abbas and his entourage for their stay in Doha during the Qatar world cup. https://t.co/Hok8vCDZbd
— Dr. Yara Hawari د. يارا هواري (@yarahawari) November 14, 2022
The 2022 World cup in Qatar kicks off Sunday evening, with Qatar going up against Ecuador.