Is Qatar responsible for the collapse of the cease-fire in the South?

A senior Fatah official is quoted by the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat as saying that the Qatari government threatened to expel the Hamas political bureau chief, Khaled Mashaal, if the Palestinian Islamist group agreed to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal.

Mashaal, who is based in Qatar, has been blamed by Israeli officials in recent days for sabotaging a long-term truce along the Gaza front by repeatedly making new demands that Jerusalem is unwilling to meet.

The Fatah official told Al-Hayat that Hamas has insisted that Qatar be given a seat at the negotiating table in Cairo. According to the official, Hamas wants either the Qatari foreign minister or the head of intelligence to be permitted to take part in the discussions.

Egypt has adamantly refused to permit Qatar to participate in the cease-fire talks, according to the report. Cairo wants a Qatari apology for the government's policies toward Egypt since the military coup against the Muslim Brotherhood brought Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to power.

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