The decision by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Arab states to isolate Qatar may have serious repercussions for the Islamist Hamas organization, which controls the Gaza Strip and has long relied on the Gulf emirate for financial and political support. Qatar has since 2012 pledge some 1.2 billion dollars in support to the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave’s infrastructure.
“Any crisis that Qatar gets into with its neighbors will have an effect on the generous Qatari aid to the people in the Gaza Strip. I think that people of the Gaza Strip will be largely the ones most affected by this crisis, the people here, because a lot of the projects might stop or the aid might end and this, of course, is connected to the events that are happening there,” said Ma’amoun Abu Amer, Gazan Political Analyst.
Hamas, an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, would not directly address the danger posed to it by Qatar’s isolation, but voiced both surprise and criticism of Saudi Arabia after Riyadh said it would sever ties with the Palestinian group, which is internationally recognized as a terrorist organization and is not only backed by Qatar, but also by Saudi’s arch rival Iran.
“We are surprised at the Hamas movement receiving such (a statement) at this time. A statement against the Hamas movement, pushing some countries and sides to boycott it and siege it during a time that Hamas proves to everyone that it is committed to its national cause, does not interfere with issues of others, fights against the occupation (Israel) and is focusing on (liberating) Jerusalem,” said Khaleel al-Hayyeh, Hamas Leader.