(New York, N.Y.) — Today, Counter Extremism Project (CEP) Chief Executive Officer Ambassador Mark D. Wallace and CEP President Frances F. Townsend call on the government of Qatar to immediately clarify the travel status of Hamas leaders, Ismail Haniyeh, the architect of the October 7 massacre in Israel, and his predecessor Khaled Meshaal.
A statement from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei indicated that he met with Haniyeh in Iran on November 5. Official Israeli sources claimed on Thursday that the Hamas leader had travelled there on his private jet.
Ambassador Wallace and former U.S. Homeland Security Advisor Frances F. Townsend stated:
“Qatar should have arrested Haniyeh and his associates on October 7. The idea that Qatar has either allowed or compelled the perpetrator of the massacre to leave in order to meet with his most fervent supporter in Iran is deplorable. This is merely the latest in a long history of support for Hamas. No responsible person, country, or business should associate with Qatar given this longstanding support for terror and extremism.
If Qatar has forcibly expelled Haniyeh and Meshaal, that is unacceptable. Expulsion simply means safe passage and ongoing safe harbor. If Qatar has granted freedom of movement to Hamas leaders, especially a luxury visit to Hamas sponsor Iran, it is no longer just a sponsor of terror—it is utterly complicit.
Qatar has already proven itself guilty of harboring of Hamas’s leadership, promoting its activities, and proliferating its vile antisemitism:
- Even as kidnapped Israelis were being taken to Gaza on October 7, Qatar’s foreign ministry claimed to “hold Israel solely responsible for the ongoing escalation [i.e. the massacre of Israeli women and children by Hamas] due to its ongoing violations.”
- On October 11, Haniyeh called for supporters around the world to join Hamas in its barbaric violence. The Qatari government provided the platform for the video address was aired on the Qatari-owned and controlled network, Al Jazeera.
- On October 14, Iran’s foreign minister met with Haniyeh in Qatar and congratulated him on his successful execution of thousands of innocent Israelis.
- On October 16, the Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs refused to close Hamas’ political office or detain any senior Hamas figures.
- On October 19 while in Qatar, Meshaal called the massacre an “ingenious moment” and refused to acknowledge any harm inflicted upon Israeli civilians.
- On October 31, Qatar hosted Haniyeh’s meeting with Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, another major Hamas patron.
CEP called on Qatar to arrest Hamas leadership in 2017. Following the October 7 massacre, CEP has called for a boycott of Qatari hotels worldwide; a freeze on Qatar’s considerable holdings in the United Kingdom; the NBA to refuse investment from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatari Investment Authority (QIA), and; a freeze on QIA assets.
Now, CEP calls on Qatar to immediately clarify Haniyeh’s whereabouts and residency status and to face further isolation if it refuses to do so. If Qatar continues to allow Haniyeh to move freely throughout the region as he carries out his plans for the slaughter of civilian life, Qatar must necessarily face severe economic and diplomatic isolation.
To read The Times’ report on CEP’s call to boycott Qatar’s London hotels, click here.
To read The Wall Street Journal’s report on UANI and CEP’s previous call to action, please click here.
To read The Telegraph’s report citing CEP’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Wallace’s call for a Qatari asset freeze until it surrenders Hamas leadership to the U.S. and/or Israel, please click here.
To read The Washington Post’s report citing CEP CEO Mark Wallace on Qatar’s role in harboring Hamas, please click here.
To read CEP’s report, Qatar: Extremism and Terrorism, please click here.
To read CEP’s HARBORS Campaign Report on Qatar, please click here.