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Qatar Under Pressure: US Ultimatum to Expel Hamas Amid Ceasefire Standoff

Qatar Under Pressure: US Ultimatum to Expel Hamas Amid Ceasefire Standoff

Qatar Pressured by US to Expel Hamas if Truce Deal is Rejected

Antony Blinken Delivers Ultimatum to Qatar

The US has demanded that Qatar expel the political leadership of Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, if they reject the latest ceasefire proposal with Israel, according to The Washington Post. The message was delivered by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in April, as reported by an anonymous US official. Qatari officials have been expecting this request for months as ceasefire talks, mediated by Qatari and Egyptian officials, have repeatedly failed.

Qatar's Relationship with Hamas

Since 2012, at the request of the US, Qatar has hosted the political leadership of Hamas, including Ismail Haniyeh, and provided billions in cash to the Hamas authorities governing Gaza, with the approval of the US and Israel. However, US and Israeli officials have criticized Qatar since Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October. During the operation, Hamas attacked Israeli military bases and settlements, resulting in the death of approximately 1,200 Israeli civilians and soldiers.

US Leverages Threat of Expulsion in Ceasefire Negotiations

The White House has sought to use the threat of expelling Hamas from Qatar as leverage in ceasefire negotiations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists on the return of Israeli captives without offering a permanent end to the war in return.

Netanyahu's Stance on Ceasefire and Threat of Invasion

Netanyahu has long insisted on a temporary ceasefire in exchange for the return of the Israeli captives, after which the army would be allowed to resume the war on Gaza. He has also used the threat of an all-out invasion of Rafah, a city on the Egypt border where over 1 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering, as leverage to force Hamas to agree to a ceasefire and prisoner exchange on Israel’s terms.

Blinken Returns to Israel to Pressure Hamas

Blinken returned to Israel this week in hopes of pressuring Hamas to agree to the latest Israeli proposal. A Hamas delegation is expected to visit Cairo this weekend, potentially to respond in writing to Israel’s latest proposal.

US Officials and Lawmakers Blame Qatar for Failure of Negotiations

As negotiations have dragged on, US officials and lawmakers have blamed Qatar for its failure to force Hamas to agree to a deal. Some US lawmakers have called on the White House to force Qatar to not only expel the Hamas leadership but to cut ties with the group entirely.

Qatar's Response to Criticism

Qatari officials have expressed frustration for the criticism they are receiving, simply for doing what the US had requested of them. Majed al-Ansari, adviser to the Qatari prime minister and spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, stated last week to Israeli media that Qatar is being used as a political punching bag for those looking to safeguard their political futures or to find more votes in the next elections.

Conclusion

This situation raises important questions about the role of international pressure in resolving conflicts. Is it fair for the US to demand such actions from Qatar? Will expelling Hamas from Qatar truly help in achieving a lasting ceasefire? Share your thoughts and don't forget to share this article with your friends. Sign up for the Daily Briefing, which is everyday at 6pm.

Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

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