Qatar has ordered the deportation of Hamas terrorists who had taken refuge in that country, Arab media reports said over the weekend. The Lebanese Al Mayadeen network said that the government had sent Hamas a list of terrorists it wanted removed from the country, citing “outside pressure” as the reason for the deportations.
Qatar expressed regret over the move, according to the Gaza-based and Hamas-controlled Ma’an news agency. Ma’an added that the list was not final, and was likely to expand.
Arab sources quoted by Al Mayadeen said that the move was likely a response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the Middle East, and especially his establishment of an anti-terror forum together with Arab countries, to be located in Saudi Arabia.
President Trump termed Hamas a terror group in speeches in Saudi Arabia and in Israel. “Some estimates say that more than 95 percent of the victims of terrorism are themselves Muslims,” President Trump said in Riyadh Sunday as he spoke to Arab and Muslim leaders. “It is a tragedy of epic proportions. No description of the suffering can begin to capture its full measure. ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas — it must be counted not just in the number of dead, but in generations of vanished dreams.”
In a statement, Hamas accused President Trump of “favoring” Israel, saying that it was “a participant in the Zionist occupation by supplying it with money and weapons to carry out terror attacks against our pathetic people.” In a social media post, Hamas top terrorist Musa Abu-Marzouk rejected President Trump’s comments, decrying “the political blindness that excuses as innocent those who destroy, blockade and kill thousands of innocents in Gaza. And you call Hamas a terror group for defending its people.”