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.

 

CIA chief not optimistic about future for unified Syria

Bloody escalation in Turkey-PKK confrontations

Tunisia parliament to sack Prime Minister Habib Essid

Arab coalition denies blocking Yemen aid

First Syria families trickle out of besieged Aleppo

Turkey jails journalists as Erdogan rebukes Western critics

Aleppo residents wary of 'death corridors'

Maternity hospital bombed in Syria's Idlib

Up to 1 million more Iraqis risk being displaced

Erdogan accuses US general of 'backing putschists'

'Traitor's graveyard' for coup plotters in Turkey

Government team says leaving UN-backed Yemen talks

Turkey says army to keep up fight against ISIS

Palestinian 'long shot' legal fight over 1917 British declaration

EU enlargement chief warns Turkey to respect rule of law

IS executes 24 civilians after seizing Syria village

French PM mulls temporary ban on foreign-funded mosques

Egypt education system under spotlight

Syria rebels prevent civilians from leaving Aleppo

Turkey widens post-coup purge to businessmen

US says will continue to consider Nusra security threat

Egypt former anti-graft head gets jail term for exaggeration

Rebels form 'supreme council' to run war-torn Yemen

France, Britain call for end to Aleppo siege

Al-Qaeda OKs breaking ties with Syria affiliate

Croatia arrests Kurdish man wanted by Turkey

Tunisian army kills two 'terrorists'

Turkey sees over 40% drop in visitors

Assad offers amnesty to Syria rebels if they surrender

Study says lack of exercise cost world $67.5 billion

Second France church attacker formally identified

Egypt Christians hope for end to discrimination with new law

HRW accuses Syria, Russia of using banned cluster munitions

Post-coup Turkey continues military shake-up

Clinton camp accuses Trump of inviting foreign spying

Morocco arrests 52 suspects planning to set up ISIS branch

Coalition opens formal investigation into Syria civilian deaths

Pope to journalists: 'World at war', but not a religious war

Turkey warns post-coup crackdown ‘not completed yet’

Egypt top Muslim cleric denounces murder of French priest

Russia denies meddling in US election campaign

Syria regime kills 16 civilians in Aleppo assault

Killer of France priest was 'Syria obsessed time-bomb'

Netanyahu defends war record after protest by parents of dead soldiers

44 dead in double bomb blast in Syria Kurdish city