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.

 

Two Bahrain police killed in 'terror' attack

Coalition jets accidentally hit pro-government Yemen forces

13 killed in Mogadishu hotel car bomb attack

Arab ministers to meet after Jerusalem clashes

Algeria bans football clubs from hiring foreign players

Morocco media boss to pay defamation damages for transport minister

Abbas vs. Dahlan: Rumblings in Ramallah raise questions on Palestinian politics

Iraq Shiite chief sees no change in Turkey stance on IS

ISIS on agenda as Cameron leads trade mission to Southeast Asia

PKK 'never respected' peace process

US joins forces with Turkey: Agreement to forge 'ISIS-free zone' in Syria

Ahead of emergency meeting, Turkey ‘has not asked’ for NATO help

Obama vows to keep up pressure on Somalia's Shebab

EU foreign chief due in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran, Yemen

Kurds cut key jihadist supply route in northern Syria

Turkey could "change the balance" in Syria

Rebel fire kills Syrian reporter in Damascus

Turkish tanks shell Kurdish-held Syria village

Saudi-led coalition suspends Yemen air war

Bomb blast kills at least six people in Somalia capital

Death toll from Nile boat crash rises to 36

Pro-Hadi forces battle retreating rebels in south Yemen

Iraq forces retake university campus on edge of Ramadi

Egypt extends state of emergency in parts of Sinai Peninsula

Clashes erupt as Israel security forces raid Al-Aqsa mosque compound

Fatigue, but not defeat: Syria army faces manpower shortage

Fragile truce in danger as Turkey blames PKK for deadly attack

Turkey bombs IS in Syria, vows to keep fighting

Syrian opposition groups agree: Assad must go

Iran FM to visit Gulf, Iraq

'No progress' in Libya search for abducted Italians

Turkey-US airbase deal foresees Syria no-fly zone

Civilian suffering in Yemen at 'unprecedented' level

Pentagon chief hails peshmerga as model for Iraq forces

US air strike kills senior al-Qaeda member

16 arrested, 1 killed in Tunisia crackdown on jihadists

Egypt Nile boat accident death toll rises to 29

Pentagon chief meets Barzani in Iraqi Kurdistan

Turkish jet fighters pound IS targets in Syria

Rebels launch assault on Syria's Daraa

Amnesty International protests Iran execution spree

Turkish army clashes with IS after soldier killed

UN envoy in Damascus for briefing on peace talks

Austria president to visit Iran

Four Egypt soldiers killed in Sinai bombing