Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is reportedly stranded in Gaza while Arab countries refuse to host the Palestinian terror group’s political chief.
Haniyeh was elected to replace exiled Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal in early May. Shortly before his election, Hamas officials had been making preparations for Haniyeh’s transfer to Qatar, where Mashaal had been based since his ouster from Syria in 2011. But a few days before his relocation, the Qatari government told senior Hamas officials to leave the country immediately.
According to Israel Hayom, senior Hamas officials who visited Cairo earlier this month said Iran had offered to host Haniyeh and Hamas’s political bureau, but Hamas turned down the offer.
It was also reported that senior Hamas officials considered the possibility of Egypt allowing Haniyeh to maintain a low profile in Cairo, but Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi rejected the proposal and rebuffed Hamas’s request to open the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza to enable Haniyeh to perform his job.