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Hamas Says Meshaal Not Leaving Qatar

Hamas senior officials have flatly rejected media reports that leader Khaled Meshaal is severing ties with Qatar.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal uses his mobile phone in his office in Doha November 29, 2012. Meshaal said the de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state won by his rival Mahmoud Abbas should be seen alongside Gaza's latest conflict with Israel as a single, bold strategy that could empower all Palestinians. Meshaal said the short war which claimed 162 Palestinian lives and five Israelis was concluded on terms set by the Palestinian Islamist movement and ended its isolation, creating a new mood that

Many questions have recently been raised about Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal's conspicuous absence of more than two months. He did not visit an Arab capital or appear on television, including on Al Jazeera, which is only a few meters from his headquarters and residence. He finally broke his silence on Sept. 23 with a surprise appearance on Al Jazeera.

Meshaal’s disappearance led to speculation in the realm of politics as well as in the media. The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, which is close to Hezbollah, reported that Meshaal was experiencing trying circumstances in Doha, the Qatari capital. This situation, according to the paper, drove him to seriously contemplate leaving the city in favor of the Sudanese capital of Khartoum or perhaps Beirut or Tehran. Izzat al-Rishq, spokesman for Hamas’ external bureau, flatly denied such reports. According to him, Meshaal’s residence in Qatar has not changed nor has that of the rest of the Hamas leadership. He described the reports on the matter as propaganda designed to harm Hamas.

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