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Why Is Our Ally Qatar Hosting Terrorists Like Hamas?

One week after hosting U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Qatar will be hosting a conference by Hamas. Is there a better symbol of Qatar’s two-faced foreign policy?

Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, is officially designated as a terrorist group by the United States, the Europe Union, Canada and Israel. Its human-rights abuses have been condemned by by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.

It earned its “terrorist” title the old-fashioned way, through decades of killings and kidnappings. Hamas has rained rockets into Israel, causing death and destruction, since 2001. Its shower of Fajr-5 and other rockets have struck Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv. Hamas deploys suicide-bombers who kill Americans visiting Israel, as well as our Israeli allies. Its 15-member governing body, which is calls without irony its politburo, has been based in Qatar since 2012.

Likewise, Qatar’s support for terrorist groups, like Hamas, is not in doubt. Hamas’ head lives in a hotel in Qatar’s capital, where he moves about freely. Qatar’s sheikhs have poured billions in the Brotherhood and its offshoots, including Hamas, over the years, according the U.S and EU reports. What’s more, the Qataris don’t deny their support for Hamas. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood’s mufti (spiritual guide) Yusuf al-Qaradawi –who also lives in Qatar—has praised suicide bombers who kill Americans and Israelis. His statements were carried on Al Jazeera, a Qatar-run television network. The U.S. State Department has also determined that Qatar is financing al Qaeda branches in Syria and elsewhere.

Of course, Qatar has its own definition of terrorism, one that doesn’t include Hamas. Qatar’s ruler, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, told CNN that Qatar funds “Islamist groups [when] we don’t consider them as terrorists,” such as Hamas. Again, both Europe and the United States have designated Hamas as a terrorist group for good reasons.

The Hamas conference will be held at Hotel City Centre Rotana in Doha, Qatar’s skyscraper-crowded capital, this coming Monday. The same hotel chain, the Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company (known as “ARTIC”), owns hotels in the U.S., including the St. Regis in Washington D.C. and the St. Regis in Bal Harbour, Florida. The chain is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Al Faisal Holdings, which has hotels in Qatar and the United States.

This timing is no coincidence.

After all, this coming Monday’s Hamas conference is simply rubbing our nose in Qatar’s duplicity.
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