Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Qatar for a meeting with exiled Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal to discuss renewing indirect cease-fire talks with Israel.
The meeting between the two Palestinian factions was facilitated by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the Qatari News Agency reported.
Abbas arrived in Doha with a delegation of leaders including PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, Cairo cease-fire talks negotiator Azaam al-Ahmed, and PA Commander of General Intelligence in the West Bank Majed Faraj, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Peace talks in Cairo collapsed this week after Hamas launched a fresh round of rockets at Israel, despite a cease-fire. Israel has responded by assassinating three senior Hamas terrorists as well as targeting another senior leader, Mohammed Deif. There are conflicting reports on whether or not Deif was killed in the airstrike.
The meeting between Abbas and Mashaal came amid reports that Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas are undermining Egyptian-led efforts to forge a permanent cease-fire.
The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat quoted a senior official from Abbas’s Fatah party as saying that Qatar had threatened to expel Mashaal if Hamas accepted Egypt’s cease-fire proposal.
Additionally, it was reported that Egypt has refused to allow Qatar to play a role in the cease-fire negotiations unless it apologizes for its support of the Muslim Brotherhood.