Qatar's top diplomat says claims it will expel Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal are 'just rumors'

Qatar's top diplomat is denying an Israeli claim that the Gulf nation will expel a leader of the Hamas militant group.

Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah dismissed as "just rumors" suggestions Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mashaal is leaving his country for Turkey.

He was responding to a question during a news conference Monday with his visiting Venezuelan counterpart, Delcy Rodriguez.

An Israeli official last week said his government had received word from "official channels" that Qatar had ordered Mashaal's expulsion. Hamas officials denied the claim at the time.