The U.S. Has Been Speaking To Hamas Through Back Channels For More Than Six Months

U.S. officials and members of Hamas have been meeting in Jordan, Egypt, and Qatar, sources say.

Sheera Frenkel

JERUSALEM — United States officials have been holding secret back-channel talks with Hamas over the last six months to discuss their role in the newly formed unity government, according to two senior diplomatic sources with direct knowledge of the talks.

The meetings were held between U.S. intermediaries and Hamas’ leadership, which lives outside the Gaza Strip in third-party countries ranging from Egypt to Qatar and Jordan. Topics included the ceasefire agreement with Israel and the recently formed unity government between Hamas and Fatah.

During the talks, Hamas gave assurances that allowed the U.S. to support the unity government, despite heavy pressure by the Israeli government for them to condemn it, the diplomatic officials — one American and one Palestinian — said. They said those assurances including a commitment to maintaining a ceasefire with Israel…

…“It must be very clear they were not just speaking to Hamas in exile, but to our entire leadership,” said the official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity as “the Americans made it clear these meetings should not be made public.”

He added, “It should be of no great surprise that an American team was speaking to Hamas, there is dialogue with Hamas through most of the Western world.”

Over the last year, Hamas has revealed that they have been holding talks with at least five EU countries…



The complete article is at BuzzFeed.




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