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Hamas divided, Abbas silent: Palestinians and Assad

Islamist group's political, military wings take opposite approaches to Syria crisis. PLO's Ashrawi: Israel wants military intervention to weaken region

The possible American strike in Syria has divided Hamas' political and military wings, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has avoided making any comment on the issue altogether.


According to Kuwait newspaper Al-Anba, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, has decided to support Syrian President Bashar Assad regardless of how things play out. This position, the report says, is backed by senior Islamist group figures such as Mahmoud al-Zahar and Imad al-Almi, but it goes against the view of the group's political leadership, which favors a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis.


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Al-Anba said Hamas supporters in Gaza recently waved signs in support of Iran in Arabic, Farsi, English and even Hebrew, while other Hamas supporters tried to stop them but were blocked by members of the Islamist group's armed wing. On Saturday Hamas' representative in Lebanon, Ali Barakeh, said the group opposes a military operation against Syria and calls for a political solution.


A few days ago Palestinian factions affiliated with Fatah held a conference in Ramallah, after which they expressed their opposition to any military intervention in Syria, claiming it would have a negative effect on the entire region.


PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said after the meeting that "the entire world will pay the price for any military escalation. Israel is interested in American intervention in Syria and Iran and aspires to weaken the region."


Senior Islamic Jihad figure Ahmed el-Madlal threatened recently that an attack on Syria would lead to the violation of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and his terror organization. The unofficial agreement ended the IDF's Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza.


Abbas has yet to comment publicly on Washington's plans for a strike on Syria.



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פרסום ראשון: 09.01.13, 19:55
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