First Published: 2013-05-29

 

Hezbollah urges Hamas members and officials to ‘leave Lebanon immediately’

 

Lebanese Shiite movement’s decision comes as response to Hamas’ role in ongoing war against Assad regime in Syria.

 

Middle East Online

End of a love affair

BEIRUT - The powerful Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah called on Hamas members and officials who are still present in Lebanon to leave the country 'immediately and within hours.' The decision comes as a response to the Palestinian Islamist movement’s role in the ongoing war in Syria against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Media sources close to the Palestinian national liberation movement Fatah in Lebanon said a Hezbollah senior security official informed Hamas representative in Lebanon, Ali Baraka, that all of those related to Hamas on the Lebanese territory became have become unwelcome.

The military unit of Hamas has broken ties with former ally Syrian President Bashar Assad and has begun training members of the opposition’s Free Syrian Army in Damascus, according to a report by The Times of London.

Anonymous diplomatic sources told the Times, earlier this month, that members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades were training Free Syrian Army units in the rebel-held neighborhoods of Yalda, Jaramana and Babbila in the Syrian capital.

“The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades have been training units very close to Damascus. These are specialists. They are really good,” a Western diplomat with contacts in both the Assad regime and the Syrian opposition told the London daily newspaper.

According to the Times, Hamas has been helping the rebels in digging a tunnel beneath Damascus in preparation for an attack on the city, a skill that Hamas has honed by constructing tunnels to smuggle supplies from Egypt into the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian source from Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp reportedly said that Hamas’s aid to the rebels is common knowledge, however Hamas officials have denied any affiliation with Syrian rebels.

The political bureau of Hamas was situated in Damascus. The organization’s leaders enjoyed the protective patronage of the Syrian regime and aid from Hezbollah.

By late December 2011, when the Syrian uprising started shifting into high gear, Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’s top political leader, quietly left Damascus in February last year and relocated to Qatar.

That same month, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh allegedly declared the movement’s support for the Syrian opposition.

Syrian state-run media accused Mashaal of being “ungrateful and treacherous.”

As far as Khaled Meshaal is concerned, the underlying logic is simple: His movement’s new patron and funder, the Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, is a vocal opponent of Assad’s regime.

 

Qatar blocks planes from transporting pilgrims

Russia destroys large column of IS fighters in Syria

Erdogan says joint op with Iran against Kurds ‘on the agenda’

Barcelona attack fugitive ‘dangerous, possibly armed’ warn police

In Egypt, Syrian refugees recreate Syria

Spanish police shoot dead man who could be Barcelona attacker

Iraqi forces close in on last IS bastion in country’s north

Kuwait arrests 13 fugitives in Iran-linked terror case

Lebanese president ratifies public sector wage rise, tax hike

Young Syrian refugees want end of war and ISIS

Lebanon army advances against IS in border battle

Spanish police say driver of Barcelona rampage van identified

Toxic politics in Italy, Libya further complicate migration problem

Assad says no Syria ties for countries backing rebels

In African tour, Sisi seeks to rebuild ties, address security and water concerns

Syria’s transition scenarios for future rounds of talks

Iraqi Kurds may postpone referendum in return for concessions

Dubai real estate market sets the pace for renewed growth in the GCC

German-Turkish intellectual held at Ankara’s request

Jordan’s municipal elections marred by deaths, riots

Rouhani says top priority is protecting nuclear deal from US

Russia doubts IS claim of stabbing attack in northern city

Turkey slams 'arrogant' German reaction to Erdogan poll call

Police confirm Finland 'terror attack'

Spain hunts suspects as IS claims attack

Aid project helps Syria refugees feel at home in Jordan

Lebanese army launches anti-IS offensive on Syria border

UN demands access to Yemen ports

Low-cost attacks a new reality for Europeans

Forces of Libya's Haftar say commander wanted by ICC in detention

Yemen rebels urged to free political commentator

Iranian footballer breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

Erdogan meddles in German politics

IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert

For Israel, White House ties trump neo-Nazis and antisemitism

Israel freezes implementation of settlement law

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers