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August 7, 2013 3:01 pm

Letter Circulating in Congress Asks Qatar to Sever Hamas Ties

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Capitol Hill. Photo: Wiki Commons. A bipartisan letter urging Qatar to end its support for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, sent Aug. 2 to Qatari Ambassador to the U.S. Mohamed Bin Abdulla Al-Rumaihi, garnered 24 signatures from members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Qatar reportedly pledged more than $400 million to Hamas in October 2012 during a visit to Gaza by Qatar’s ruling emir at the time, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. The U.S. House letter, which was organized by U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and John Barrow (D-GA) and had been circulating in the House since last month, said the Qatari government’s support of Hamas “empowers, legitimizes, and bolsters an organization committed to violence and hatred.”

Hamas has found itself in an increasingly precarious position amid the upheaval in the Middle East. For years, Hamas relied on support from Shi’a powers—Iran, Syria and Hezbollah—to back its terror operations. But Hamas has refused to support President Bashar al-Assad’s government in its fight against rebels in the Syrian civil war, and closed its office in Damascus. As a result, Hamas has sought to align with Sunni powers such as Turkey, Qatar, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

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