On April 13, 2023, Hamas held a festive iftar (evening meal at the close of the daily Ramadan fast) in Qatar's capital Doha for some 30 diplomats from Arab and Islamic states and several "friendly non-Arab countries," as well as Qatari ministers and MPs. The event, which Hamas Political Bureau head Isma'il Haniya described as "the first of its kind," took place in Doha's Diplomatic Club and reflects Qatar's support of Hamas, alongside other terrorist organizations. Qatar hosts Hamas leaders in its territory, provides the organization with financial aid and essentially backs Hamas in its struggle against Israel.
The event included a reception, a prayer led by Isma'il Haniya and a political speech by Haniya. Photos from it, which were posted to social media, show some of the diplomats who took part in it, including Iranian Ambassador to Qatar Hamidreza Dehghani Poudeh, Turkish Ambassador to Qatar Mustafa Goksu, the ambassador of the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Mohammad Na'eem, and Russian Ambassador to Qatar Dmitry Dogadkin. The Al-Arabi Al-Jadid daily noted that the event was also attended by "a security advisor from a large European country," and that the Palestinian Authority's ambassador to Qatar, Munir Ghannam, was not present.
The event was attended by many Hamas officials who are frequently hosted by Qatar. In addition to Political Bureau Head Isma'il Haniya, these Hamas officials included Khaled Mash'al, Moussa Abu Marzouq, Khalil Al-Haya, Maher Salah, 'Izzat Al-Rishq, Muhammad Nazzal, Hussam Badran, Sami Khater and Maher 'Ubaid, among others. Qatari officials at the event included Religious Endowments Minister Ghanem bin Shahin Al-Ghanem and the chairman of Qatar's Gaza Reconstruction Committee, Muhammad Al-'Imadi, who is a major liaison between Qatar and Hamas and whose committee serves as a conduit for channeling funds to the Gaza Strip.
To view a MEMRI TV Clip of the Hamas iftar dinner, click here or below:
This report reviews the festive event held by Hamas for diplomats in Qatar.
Hamas Leader Haniya In Speech To Diplomats: We Will Continue Resistance In All Its Forms; Hope You Will Help Us In International Forums
In his speech at the event Haniya stressed that "Hamas is contending in three ways with the strategic developments and changes on the local, regional and international levels: first, through constant readiness for [armed] confrontation; second, by fostering true [intra-Palestinian] national unity; and third, by strengthening the coordination and consultation with its Arab and Islamic environment and with all the free [peoples] in the world." Hamas's only option, he added, is to continue "its steadfastness, struggle and resistance in all their forms until the occupation is removed," and expressed hope that "the Arab and Islamic states, and [our] friends across the world, will help [Hamas] politically and diplomatically in all the regional and international forums." He stressed "the importance of coordination and consultation with the various countries and free [peoples] in the world, in light of the occupation's ongoing attempts to infiltrate the region on the political, security and military [levels]." Haniya thanked the guests and described the event as "an opportunity to remind the world that everyone has a political, moral and human duty to stop the ongoing aggression against the Palestinians, their land and their holy sites and to act to end the occupation."
Hamas Political Bureau head Isma'il Haniya speaking at the Doha event; on the screen behind him are the Qatari and Palestinian flags and the text: "Our honored guests, welcome to the Ramadan iftar [hosted by] the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas – Palestine" (Image: Safa.ps, April 15, 2023)
Isma'il Haniya speaking at the Doha event (Image: Hamas.ps, April 15, 2023)
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Photos Of The Hamas Iftar Dinner At The Diplomatic Club In Doha
The event was barely mentioned in the Qatari media, but photos of it were published by Hamas and, as mentioned, also posted to social media. Below are some examples:
Hamas leaders with Muhammad Al-'Imadi, chairman of Qatar's Gaza Reconstruction Committee (Hamas.ps, April 15, 2023)
Isma'il Haniya with Qatari officials and the ambassadors of Russia, Iran and Turkey (Facebook.com/TCDoha, April 14, 2023)
Isma'il Haniya with the Taliban's Ambassador to Qatar, Mohammad Na'eem. The text above the photo says: "Yesterday, April 13, 2023, at the invitation of the Hamas Political Bureau in Doha, the acting ambassador of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammad Na'eem, attended an iftar organized by that bureau" (Twitter.com/AfgEmbDoha, April 14, 2023)
Isma'il Haniya with Russian Ambassador to Qatar Dmitry Dogadkin (Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100041660296765, April 13, 2023)
Isma'il Haniya with Turkish Ambassador to Qatar Mustafa Göksu (Facebook.com/TCDoha, April 14, 2023)
Isma'il Haniya leads the guests in prayer (Twitter.com/FahadAlMuteryQ8, April 16, 2023; Twitter.com/hamidehghani, April 18, 2023)
 Hamas has been designated by the U.S. as a terror organization. See https://www.state.gov/foreign-terrorist-organizations. On Qatar's support of terrorism, see e.g. MEMRI reports: Daily Brief No. 152, Cut Off Qatar, March 4, 2018; Daily Brief No. 148, Is Gaza In Need Of Qatar's Aid?, January 29, 2018; Daily Brief No. 146, Qatar, The Emirate That Fools Them All, And Its Enablers, January 18, 2018.
 It should be mentioned that, during the 2021 round of fighting between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, while Qatar was involved, along with the U.S., Egypt and other countries, in attempts to mediate a ceasefire between the sides, a mass rally in support of Hamas was held in Doha with the participation of Qatari officials. See Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1576 - As Qatar Mediates Between Israel And Hamas, It Holds Mass Rally For Hamas In Doha Supporting Armed Struggle And Jihad Against Israel – Participants Included Hamas Political Bureau Head Isma'il Haniya – May 21, 2021. The Qatari press publishes many articles in support of Hamas and terror against Israel. See MEMRI reports: Special Dispatch No. 10452 - Al-Jazeera Presenters, Journalists In Qatari Press, Qatar-Backed Muslim Clerics: Terrorist Attack Near Jerusalem Synagogue Was 'Brave Act' Of 'Legitimate Resistance,' Its Perpetrator Is A 'Hero' – February 1, 2023; Special Dispatch No. 9316 - Article On Al-Jazeera Website: Ramadan, 'Month Of Jihad And Victories,' Is The Season Of Palestinian Armed Operations – May 3, 2021; Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1634 - Antisemitism, Holocaust Denial In Qatari Press – April 28, 2022; Special Dispatch No. 9891 - Qatari Press Praises Tel Aviv Terror Attack In Which Three Israelis Were Killed – And The Terrorist Who Carried It Out – April 11, 2022; Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1527, Al-Jazeera Unmasked: Political Islam As A Media Arm Of The Qatari State, August 12, 2020;
Special Dispatch No. 8242 - Blog Post On Website Of Qatar's Al-Jazeera Network Praises Hamas Summer Camps And Its Efforts To 'Raise A Generation That Believes In The Duty Of Jihad' – August 26, 2019; Special Dispatch No. 7975 - Qatari Press Praises Armed Palestinian Resistance, Self-Sacrifice For Palestine – April 1, 2019.
In addition, Qatar also supports, sponsors and funds the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), founded in 2004 by the extremist Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, in which Hamas Political Bureau head Isma'il Haniya is a member. The union provides Hamas with religious legitimacy and consistently promotes an extremist discourse of hate, incitement, antisemitism, calls for jihad and encouragement of armed struggle against Israel. On this IUMS' extremist discourse and support for terrorism, see MEMRI reports: Special Dispatch No. 10557, Qatar-Funded And Operated International Union Of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) And Hamas Leaders In Qatar Call Palestinians To I'tikaf In Al-Aqsa Mosque With Intention Of Waging Jihad Prior To April 5 Clashes, Declare April 7 As 'Day Of Rage', April 7, 2023; Special Dispatch No. 10553 - Member Of The International Union Of Muslim Scholars: Muslims Must Liberate Al-Aqsa By Any Means; It Is The Blood Of The Jihad Fighters That Lights The Flame Of Al-Aqsa; The Day Of Judgement Will Come When The Muslims Fight And Kill The Jews – April 5, 2023; Inquiry & Analysis No. 1652, Al-Qaradawi: Qatar's Islamist Empire Builder, October 3, 2022; Special Dispatch No. 10464 - International Union Of Muslim Clerics (IUMS) Member: The Jerusalem Terrorist Who Killed Seven Civilians Is A 'Hero' And A 'Role Model'; The Quran Explicitly Calls To Wage Jihad For The Sake Of Allah – February 6, 2023; Special Dispatch No. 10356 - Youssef Al-Qaradawi's Successor Ali Al-Qaradaghi Shares Mentor's Hardline Views And Positions On West, Christianity, And Jihad, Actively Promotes Muslim Brotherhood Ideology To Millions Of People On Multiple Platforms – May 12, 2022; Special Dispatch No. 8830 - International Union Of Muslim Scholars, Backed By Qatar And Turkey, Calls For Jihad And Self-Sacrifice To Foil Israel’s Plan To Annex Parts Of The West Bank – July 6, 2020; Special Dispatch No. 7984 - International Union Of Muslim Scholars Urges Imams To Preach Armed Jihad Against Israel To Save Al-Aqsa – April 4, 2019; Special Dispatch No. 8083 - Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni, Head Of The International Union Of Muslim Scholars Which Was Founded By Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi In Dublin: Questioning The Holocaust Is Not Just A Right But An Obligation – May 23, 2019; Special Dispatch No. 8135 - International Union Of Muslim Scholars, Supported By Qatar, Calls To Boycott Bahrain Conference On Deal Of The Century, Support Palestinians' Jihad – June 24, 2019; Special Dispatch No. 7264 - Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi Calls For Resistance, Jihad And Martyrdom Following Trump's Recognition Of Jerusalem As Israel's Capital – January 4, 2018.
 Twitter.com/hamidehghani, April 18, 2023.
 Facebook.com/TCDoha, April 14, 2023.
 Twitter.com/AfgEmbDoha1, April 14, 2023. On Hamas' relations with the Taliban, see MEMRI
Special Dispatch No. 9505 - Qatar's Protégés – Hamas Officials, Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Jazeera Reporters – Praise Taliban's 'Jihad' And 'Victory'; Journalists, Liberals In Response: They Should Move To Kabul – August 19, 2021.
 Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100041660296765, April 13, 2023.
 Alaraby.co.uk, April 16, 2023.
 Hamas.ps, April 15, 2023.
 Hamas.ps, April 15, 2023, Twitter.com/hamidehghani, April 18, 2023.
 Hamas.ps, April 15, 2023.