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,[4] 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.

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.”

ifmat - Hamas Hosts Festive Iftar Dinner For Diplomats In Qatar - Guests Include Ambassadors Of Iran

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)

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)