'Hamas leadership intends to flee Damascus for Qatar'

London-based 'Al Hayat' reports that Qatar agreed to host Mashaal; Hamas military chief reportedly discusses Schalit with Egyptian official.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 311 Reu (photo credit: Khaled Al Hariri / Reuters)
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 311 Reu
(photo credit: Khaled Al Hariri / Reuters)
The political leadership of Hamas intends to leave Damascus and move to Qatar, according to a report in the London-based newspaperAl Hayat on Saturday. The report could not be confirmed by any other sources.
According to the report, Qatar agreed to host Hamas' exiled leader Khaled Mashaal and other senior officials but has not agreed to host the organization's military wing.
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Palestinian officials who spoke with the newspaper said that the transfer of the Hamas leadership to Doha came after Jordan and Egypt rejected a similar request.
Al Hayat also reported that the commander of the military wing of Hamas, Ahmed Jabari, spoke in Cairo with Egyptian Intelligence Minister Murad Muwafi about the deal to bring home captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. This report could also not be confirmed by any other source.
The newspaper did not specify the reasons for the decision by Hamas's political leadership to leave Syria. However, the popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad is considered to be a major factor.