Palestinians walk inside Qatari-funded construction project 'Hamad City', in the southern Gaza Strip June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
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Moves by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Arab states to isolate Qatar may have serious repercussions for Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that rules Gaza and has long relied on the Gulf emirate for financial and political support.Hamas officials are tight-lipped about the pressure being put on Qatar, not wishing to draw attention to their own dilemma posed by the worst crisis among Gulf Arab states for two decades.One potential fallout is a sharp cut in Qatari funding for Hamas, especially if the emirate wants to show the Saudis and others that it takes seriously the charge that it finances groups tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, such as Hamas.Hamas officials would not directly address the threats they face, but were critical of Saudi Arabia for leading the squeeze on Qatar, and in particular about comments by Riyadh's foreign minister calling on Qatar to sever relations with Hamas.As well as financial support, Qatar has long hosted exiled Hamas officials, including its former political chief, Khaled Meshaal.The question is whether it can work, and whether Hamas can afford to cold-shoulder Qatar.
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