Photo Credit: Official State Department photo by Chuck Kennedy
Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha, Qatar, June 12, 2024.

The Hamas terrorist organization on Tuesday raced to deny a report that its leadership was planning to relocate from Qatar to Iraq.

The report comes amid Qatari and American pressure for the terror group to be more flexible on negotiations for a hostage release deal with Israel, The National reported Monday.


According to the report, the Iraqi government approved the move last month. Iran was expected to provide protection for the planned Hamas office – and its leadership – in Baghdad.

Less than 24 hours later, however, Hamas political bureau member Izzat al-Rishek said “there is no truth in the reports that Hamas is planning to leave Qatar and move to Iraq.”

The United States has for some time been urging Qatar to pressure its Hamas “guests” into relaxing their inflexible stance in the negotiations. The United States has little real power to push Qatar into pressuring Hamas, however.

In early January, CNN reported the US had reached a deal to extend its military presence at the al Udeid Air Base in Qatar for another 10 years, the largest US military facility in the Middle East.

Qatar is also a major non-NATO US ally that enjoys a close, strategic working relationship with the American military, in addition to providing billions of dollars in funding to various universities throughout the United States.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.