The Washington Post revealed that the United States and Qatar agreed to reconsider Doha’s relationship with Hamas, after resolving the crisis of the Israeli prisoners being held there, according to four diplomats familiar with the discussions.
The agreement was reached during a recent meeting in Doha, between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani.
Blinken had warned Doha of its close relations with Hamas, which hosts an office for it and the head of the movement’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh.
Blinken said, during his visit to Qatar, “Things cannot continue as usual with Hamas”.
These officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It hasn’t yet been decided whether the recalibration will lead to a mass exodus of Hamas leaders from Qatar, where they have long maintained a political office in the capital, or lead to smaller steps”.
“The agreement is an attempt to achieve a balance between the Biden administration’s short-term goal, which is to rescue the largest possible number of prisoners, and its long-term goal, which is to try to isolate Hamas, in the wake of operation al Aqsa Flood,” according to the Washington Post.
Given its good relations with Western governments and the Hamas movement, Qatar plays a key role in negotiations to release Israeli prisoners.
On Friday, Qatar warned that any Israeli ground invasion of Gaza would complicate efforts to release prisoners, noting that some progress had been achieved in this regard.
Israeli media announced that Israel had indicated to mediators that it was ready to offer compensation for the release of its prisoners in Gaza.