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Hamas' Haniyeh hails Gulf reconciliation amid visiting Qatar's Emir Tamim in Doha Open in fullscreen

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Hamas' Haniyeh hails Gulf reconciliation amid visiting Qatar's Emir Tamim in Doha

Ismail Haniyeh visited Qatar [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 January, 2021

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Ismail Haniyeh congratulated Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in a meeting in Doha on Sunday.

The leader of Palestinian Hamas group met Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on Sunday in Doha, the two said in a statement, following the recent reconciliation of a number of Gulf states.

Ismail Haniyeh led a Hamas delegation to Qatar and congratulated the emir on the recent Gulf reconciliation agreement at a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in the Saudi city of Al-Ula last week.

The Hamas leader also briefed Al-Thani on the latest developments within internal Palestinian political landscape and ongoing efforts aimed at strengthening national unity.

On Saturday, Haniyeh hailed the Gulf reconciliation deal in a message to Saudi King Salman as a major step that serves the Palestinian cause.

As part of an informal truce deal between Hamas and Israel in November 2018, the Jewish state allows millions of dollars in Qatari humanitarian aid to enter the besieged enclave.

Since 2007, Israel has launched three devastating wars on the coastal Palestinian territory, where about two million Palestinians live.

It has also maintained a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip which has plunged hundreds of thousands of people into poverty.

On Tuesday, Qatar and the four nations that severed relations with Doha in a rift that began over three years ago restarted full ties.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE led a quartet that cut transport links with Qatar in June 2017, claiming it was too close to Iran and backed radical Islamist groups - allegations Doha has always denied.

"What happened today is... the turning of the page on all points of difference and a full return of diplomatic relations," Prince Faisal bin Farhan told a press conference at the conclusion of a landmark regional summit in Saudi Arabia at the time.

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