Hamas said on Wednesday its relations with financial backer Iran have suffered as a result of the Islamist group's support of rebels battling Syrian President Bashar Assad, a long-time Iranian ally.
- Hamas says Iran ties worsen over Syria war
- Tear between Hezbollah, Hamas: 'Leave Lebanon'
- Egyptians protest against Hamas
Hamas was also once an Assad ally but last year endorsed the revolt against him in a shift that deprived the Syrian leader of an important Sunni Muslim supporter in the Arab world.
The pro-Hezbollah Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported members of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Gaza-based group, visited Beirut, where they met with Hezbollah officials, en route to Iran, where they are holding training camps.
Al-Akhbar also quoted Hamas and Hezbollah sources as saying nothing has changed in the relations between the members of the anti-Israeli axis. "Iran is still committed to the training and funding of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades," said the source, who added that discontinuing those would represent crossing a "red line" in relations between the Gaza-based militant group and the Islamic republic.
Recent Arab press reports claimed Hamas operatives took part in the war in Syria siding with the rebels. Hamas issued fierce denials of the allegations, saying their fighters left Syria to avoid taking sides in the conflict.
Moreover, Hamas representative in Lebanon Ali Barakeh denied earlier claims by Hezbollah sources saying they discerned the distinct footprint of the Gaza-based group in the munitions and equipment used by the rebels – as those were supplied to Hamas by Hezbollah in the first place. Barakeh said this was an impossibility, as all the weaponry delivered to Hamas is transferred straight way to the Palestinian territories.
Barakeh also responded to the reports that the personal security guard of Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal defected and joined the Free Syrian Army, saying the man was now part of the Al-Nusra Front group, but was jailed by them following an altercation.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop