Home News Palestinian leader quietly in Qatar for World Cup opener

Palestinian leader quietly in Qatar for World Cup opener

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RAMALLAH, West Bank – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Doha on Saturday to attend the opening ceremony of the World Cup, the Qatari news agency reported, during an unannounced visit by the Palestinians.

Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, with a section dedicated to covering Abbas’ daily activities, did not report on his trip to Qatar.

This apparently followed an outcry at home over leaked documents allegedly showing the embattled leader traveling to Qatar with a large entourage of close family members and aides. The documents, which emerged earlier this month but have not been independently authenticated, also showed hotel bills worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The articles first appeared on social media pages associated with Hamas, the militant group that has ruled the Gaza Strip since the overthrow of pro-Abbas forces in 2007.

Based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority has grown increasingly unpopular as accusations of corruption, silencing of critics and mismanagement have exacerbated its financial crisis. Hamas, which runs Gaza under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade and repeated conflicts with Israel, is no better.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off on Sunday.


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