Hamas’ Haniyeh Heads for Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain & Iran, Meshal Visits Jordan
After recently completing a tour of Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, and Tunisia, Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh will leave for Qatar as part of his new tour of the Arab world on Monday.
The trips have a number of goals including, but not limited to, strengthening Hamas’ ties with Arab states, reinforcing the legitimacy of Hamas and bolstering Haniyeh’s personal status.
In addition to Qatar, Haniyeh will visit Bahrain, Iran and Kuwait. The visits to Kuwait and Qatar should not be all that interesting. The trip to Iran, on the other hand, will be.
Over recent months, Iran has slowed, if not ceased, its funding of Hamas. This void has reportedly been filled by Turkey, while Iran has turned towards Islamic Jihad.
Nonetheless, Iran will surely do all it can to keep its hand in the game and remain relevant. The question now is whether or not Hamas will decide to fully let go or latch back on to the Iranian regime.
In other news, Hamas’ Khaled Meshal met with Jordan’s King Abdullah on Sunday. I reported on the rapprochement last week. During the meeting Jordanian officials repeated that they will not allow Hamas to reopen its offices in the country. Nonetheless, Hamas officials said the meeting was “extremely positive and excellent.” Yet, Meshal’s visit,which was scheduled to last three days, was cut short, as he left Jordan on Sunday. Hamas and Jordanian officials have offered no explanation as to why Meshal’s visit was cut short.
Update: Haniyeh will reportedly ask Qatar to fulfill its promise from 2006 to provide Gaza with a $17 million sports facility.
Update: Haniyeh has arrived in Qatar.