January 16, 2009 / 10:46 AM / 10 years ago

Hamas and Jihad leaders in Qatar for Gaza meeting

(Adds details)

DAMASCUS, Jan 16 (Reuters) - The leaders of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Palestinian groups arrived in Doha on Friday to attend an Arab meeting on the Gaza crisis, Palestinian politicians said.

"A private plane sent by the Emir of Qatar took them from Damascus this morning," a Hamas official told Reuters in the Syrian capital.

The Palestinian delegation includes Khaled Meshaal, head of the Hamas politburo. Ramadan Shallah, who leads Islamic Jihad, and Ahmad Jibril, head of the secular Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, the sources said.

The exiled leaders of these groups live in Syria, which has backed Qatar’s call for a summit to deal with the Israeli invasion of Gaza that has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians.

Doha has not secured enough participation for the meeting to qualify as an official Arab summit, the Arab League said.

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