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Hamas denies relocation of Political Bureau to Baghdad 

June 25, 2024 at 11:46 am

Senior Hamas leader Izzat al-Rishq in Ankara, Turkey on October 18, 2019 [Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has denied reports claiming it plans to relocate its political bureau from Qatar to Baghdad.

“There is no truth to what Sky News Arabia reported, citing The National newspaper, of allegations that Hamas plans to leave Qatar and head to Iraq,” stated Izzat Al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, on his Telegram account.

Yesterday The National, based in the UAE, had first reported that the Iraqi government approved the opening of a Hamas bureau in Baghdad in May, with Iran tasked with protecting Hamas’s leaders and offices. The report suggested the move was to alleviate pressure from Qatar and the US to show flexibility in negotiations with Israel over a Gaza deal.

These indirect negotiations, mediated by Egypt, Qatar, and the US, have been ongoing for months without a breakthrough towards a ceasefire agreement.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the “intense phase” of the conflict is nearing its end, as Israel’s bombardment of Gaza escalates.

Today, The National reported that the US has warned governments in the region against dealing with Hamas. Baghdad which has been increasingly involved in mediation efforts has welcomed the idea of Hamas maintaining a high-profile presence in the country, the outlet’s sources said. However, there is no final word from the group’s leaders on when they will move, they added.

“We have made clear to every government in the region that there should be no more business as usual with Hamas after the horrific attacks of October 7,” US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said, responding to a question during a briefing yesterday about the plans to move to Iraq. “And that applies to everyone,” Mr Miller added.

READ: Haniyeh: ‘7 October manifested new equations for Palestine cause, region’