Wall Street Journal: Qatar and Egypt informed Ismail Haniyeh of the possibility of expelling him from Doha if negotiations fail but the results were counterproductive

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The Wall Street Journal reported that Qatar and Egypt recently told Hamas leaders that they could face possibilities such as arrest, asset freezes, sanctions, and even expulsion from Doha if a ceasefire with Israel isn’t agreed.

According to the report, based on statements by officials he described as familiar with the talks, these threats, made against Hamas leaders at the request of the Biden administration, backfired.

Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, who is in Qatar, said he wouldn’t agree to a deal that didn’t meet the movement’s conditions and didn’t guarantee an end to the war.

Samar Saeed, chief Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, adds that Hamas this week objected to the language used in the written version of the latest ceasefire proposal, which repeatedly used the term sustainable calm and linked a permanent cessation of hostilities to negotiations in the first phase of the agreement.

Samar Saeed says that the slight difference in wording has become a sticking point in the negotiations, especially after Netanyahu’s response to Biden’s speech and his emphasis on not ending the war before destroying Hamas’s military and civilian capabilities in Gaza.

CIA Director William Burns also asked Qatari and Egyptian officials to inform Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that international mediators would ensure that comprehensive ceasefire negotiations would begin in the third week of the first phase of the deal, and that the terms of a permanent truce would be agreed by the fifth week.

The Wall Street Journal continues to narrate the events by saying that Haniyeh – after the threats – refused to accept the proposal, and conditioned Israel on a written commitment to a permanent ceasefire, especially after Netanyahu’s statement that he would not accept any permanent cessation of hostilities.

While the report recounted an official it described as familiar with the negotiations, saying, “They know that Qatar will have no choice but to expel them if the Americans ask them to do so,” former Israeli official and negotiator Daniel Levy was quoted as saying that “by simply objecting to any prelude in the first phase of ending the war, Washington failed the test and surrendered… By not confirming the clear link to stopping the war, the Biden administration is returning us to a predictable path”.

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