A senior member of Palestnian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction said Wednesday Hamas's choice to forego the Egyptian truce proposal and return to its rocket war on Israel was due to Qatari pressure.
The Fatah source, quoted in the Arabic Al-Hayat as cited by Yedioth Aharonoth, said that during the Cairo truce talks Hamas had been pressing for Qatar to play an active role in the negotiations, and asked that a senior Qatar source be invited to the talks.
Egypt reportedly refused the proposal, stipulating that Qatar apologize for its policies towards the Nile State since Muslim Brotherhood member and former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was deposed last July 3, indicating the tension between Eygpt and Qatar. Qatar is the leading sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is the Palestinian branch.
The Fatah source added that Qatar threatened to expel Qatar-based Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal, saying it would "force him to leave," if Hamas agreed to the Egyptian truce proposal in its current structure.
Indeed Hamas rejected the proposal last week, with Mashaal saying "we want serious negotiations that lead to an end of the aggression on Gaza and granting the Palestinian demands."
The new revelation would appear to lend credence to reports Tuesday that the breach of the ceasefire was in fact orchestrated by none other than Mashaal.
An unnamed security source told Walla! the initial rocket salvo on Be'er Sheva was ordered directly by Mashaal, who reportedly bypassed Hamas's "military wing", the Al-Qassam Brigades, and ordered a specially-assigned unit of Hamas operatives answerable directly to him to launch the attack.
The source claimed Mashaal was aiming to sabotage negotiations for a long-term truce in Cairo, which were not going his way.
A senior Hamas source last week urged a different nation to replace Egypt as intermediary in the talks, labeling Egypt "the basic delaying source preventing an agreement."
Hamas may have envisioned Qatar as the replacement, given that the source called for a new third-party that would help achieve the terror group's demands, including terrorists releases and a Gaza sea and airport.
It is worth noting that three Arab-nationalist Balad MKs recently traveled to Qatar, where they reportedly met the traitor ex-MK Azmi Bishara, who founded their party before fleeing Israel after passing information to direct Hezbollah rockets on Israeli citizens.
Qatar just a week ago reportedly increased its emergency aid to the Hamas enclave of Gaza by $13 million, bringing it to a total of $23 million.