Before the year ended, it was learned that Qatar had pledged to deport Hamas terrorists to Turkey, including Khaled Meshaal as part of its effort to ease relations with Egypt and other Arab Gulf states, as Shoebat.com reported. Qatar has made such empty promises before, as it did after the overthrow of Mursi as President of Egypt in 2013 when it pledged to expel Meshaal along with Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
As Shoebat.com reported one year later, Meshall and Qaradawi hadn’t gone anywhere. Now, Israel may have erroneously taken Qatar at its word to expel Meshaal because Hamas leaders deny it’s true.
According to an AP report:
The Israeli government on Tuesday claimed Qatar had expelled the leader of the Hamas militant group, in what would be a significant diplomatic victory for Israel. Hamas officials denied the claims as “baseless.”
The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it “welcomes Qatar’s decision to expel the head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Mashaal, to Turkey.” It said the Qatari decision came after heavy diplomatic pressure from Israel.
“We expect the Turkish government to act responsibly in a similar way,” it added.
Hamas officials in both Qatar and Gaza angrily dismissed the Israeli claims.
Izzat Rishq, a top aide to Mashaal, said the claim was wrong. “There is no basis of truth about brother Khaled Mashaal leaving Doha. We are in Doha now,” he told The Associated Press.
Hamas spokesman Hossam Badran in Qatar and Salah Bardawil, a Hamas official in Gaza, also told the AP the report was false.
In Turkey, the Foreign Ministry said it had no information on a Qatari decision or plans by Mashaal to relocate to Turkey.
History says Meshaal isn’t going anywhere but we’ll see. The shame is that anyone trusted Qatar to follow through before the deportations – which should have included the revocation of Qatari passports – could be confirmed.