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After Hamas decade, Gaza short on freedom, jobs, electricity

Qatar is one of the few foreign backers of Hamas, and faces massive pressure from its Gulf neighbours to cut ties with the Islamic militant group.

Quoting reports coming out of Israel, it said the expulsion followed Qatar's fallout with Saudi Arabia and four other Arab states over allegations that Qatar was aiding extremists.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir also said Qatar needed to end its support for Hamas before ties with other Arab Gulf states could be restored.

The Palestinian Hamas movement controlling the Gaza Strip Wednesday lambasted Saudi Arabia's condition to restore ties with Qatar adding that the current Qatar-Arab fallout will favor Israel, which will exploit the situation against the Palestinian people.

Hamas was formed in the 1980s as an offshoot of the pan-Arab Brotherhood but has more recently stressed its basis as a Palestinian liberation movement, in part to defuse Egyptian enmity and draw support from wealthy Arab states.

They accuse Qatar of supporting armed groups - including Hamas - and their regional rival, Iran.

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Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2008, tunneling under the border and firing thousands of rockets into Israel, and is avowedly committed to destroying the Jewish state. The spot is supposed to house the headquarters of Qatar's Gaza reconstruction mission and a residence for an envoy.

The report did not say the number of Hamas officials who have been expelled, but note that the Palestinian organisation denies that its officials have been asked to leave.

Hamdan also pointed to a recent visit to Egypt by the Hamas delegation and said the trip has been positive and will lead to a number of agreements, which would serve the interests of the two sides.

Qatar has always been accused of funding worldwide terror groups as a defense strategy, essentially paying "protection" money to global terror groups in order to ensure that they are not attacked, former IDF General and National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror said on Army Radio. "They did it due to their own concerns about radical Islamic terror", Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli defence minister, said at the Israeli parliament on June 6.

And while the humanitarian support to Gaza may indirectly serve Hamas, Shobaki says that Doha "saved the PA President Mahmoud Abbas' authority from collapsing a couple of times when the deficit in the PA budget has been blocked".



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