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Congressional Letter to Call on Qatar to Take Another Look at its Hamas Funding

A “Dear Colleague” letter currently collecting signatures in Congress – and due to be delivered to Qatari Ambassador to the U.S. Mohammed Bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi – expresses concern over Doha’s assistance to Hamas:

The draft letter, addressed directly to Rumaihi, acknowledges that “longstanding, strategic bilateral relations between the United States and Qatar, including a strong defense pact, are of critical importance to both countries.”

“However,” it continues, “we believe that Qatar’s relationship with Hamas empowers, legitimizes, and bolsters an organization committed to violence and hatred.”

The letter, circulated by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and John Barrow (D-GA), comes at a time when Qatar is scrambling to maneuver around the removal from power of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Doha had strongly supported Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement, with documents being published this week showing six-figure payments from Qatar to top Brotherhood officials.

The document, allegedly recovered in the ransacking of Muslim Brotherhood offices in Cairo after the Egyptian military removed Morsi from office, lists payments ranging from $250,000 to $850,000 to top Morsi associates from the former Prime Minister of Qatar. The payments, which some observers believe may be linked to funding Qatar provided the Morsi government on steep and unpopular terms, undermine the religious regime’s moral authority, say experts.

[Photo: National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations / Youtube]