Media: Hamas leaders to move to Iraq due to US pressure

    WORLD  25 June 2024 - 10:48

    Hamas plans to leave Qatar for Iraq, as pressure from Doha and the US mounts on the group's political leaders to show greater flexibility in talks for a Gaza ceasefire.

    The Iraqi government approved the move last month, Caliber.Az quotes informed Iraqi sources as saying in a conversation with The National.

    Iran will be responsible for protecting Hamas’s leaders, offices and personnel in Baghdad, the sources added, the sources said.

    The move was discussed last month by Hamas’s political leader Ismail Haniyeh and representatives of the Iraqi and Iranian governments. Those talks were confirmed by a senior Iraqi MP and the leader of a political party with close ties to an Iran-backed armed group.

    According to the sources, the potential move was also reviewed separately last month by Mr Haniyeh and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani, who spoke by telephone, the senior Iraqi MP said.

    The potential move to Iraq comes as Gaza ceasefire negotiations, mediated by the US, Egypt and Qatar, remain deadlocked, they added.

    “Senior US officials have blamed Hamas for the lack of progress, after President Joe Biden outlined a proposal to end the war, in which more than 37,500 Palestinians have been killed since October.”

    The Iraqi sources also said there has been no significant contact between mediators, Hamas and Israel since Hamas effectively rejected Mr Biden's proposals earlier this month.

    Hamas plans to retain some form of representation in Doha to oversee relations with Qatar, another source said. The country is expected to be among the major contributors to reconstruction efforts in Gaza after the war.

    Iran will be responsible for protecting Hamas’s leaders, offices and personnel in Baghdad, the sources added.

    “The group's leaders have yet to set a date for the move. Hamas this month opened a political office, led by senior official Mohammed Al Hafy, in Baghdad. There are plans for the group to open a media office in the city in the coming weeks,” the sources added.

    Caliber.Az

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