Qatari FM: Hamas is not a terror organization

Qatari Foreign Minister insists Hamas is a legitimate movement and not a terrorist organization.

Dalit Halevi ,

Flag of Qatar
Flag of Qatar

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani said on Saturday that Arab states view Hamas as a legitimate resistance movement rather than a terrorist organization as the United States defines it.

Speaking with Russia Today, Al Thani said that Qatar does not transfer aid to Hamas but rather to the "Palestinian people" through cooperation with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

He added that the fact that some Hamas leaders were in the Qatari capital Doha does not mean that his country supports them, since their presence in Doha is only a political representation.

Al Thani refused to call Hamas a terrorist organization and noted that Hamas is not included in the list of organizations blacklisted by the Gulf Cooperation Council, claiming that every Arab believes that Hamas is a legitimate resistance movement.

His comments came after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and other states broke off relations with Qatar this week over what they say is the emirate's financing of extremist groups as well as its ties to Iran.

On Friday, the Saudis and their allies placed several Qataris and Doha-based organizations on a terror blacklist, releasing a joint statement listing as many as 18 individuals, including members of Qatar's royal family and a former minister as involved in "terrorist" activities.