Hamas representative in Lebanon Ali Barakeh poses for a photo in front of a picture of the Dome of the Rock during an interview with The Daily Star in Haret Hreik, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Hamas remains in contact with Hezbollah to ensure the neutrality of the Palestinian refugee camps in any conflict and will block any threat to Lebanese security emanating from them, a senior official in the movement told The Daily Star.Hamas and other Palestinian factions will also be in charge of security at the Yarmouk refugee camp outside Damascus temporarily as part of a deal to lift the siege on the beleaguered neighborhood and allow Palestinians who fled the violence for Lebanon to return, he said. In a wide-ranging interview, Ali Barakeh, the Hamas politburo official in Lebanon, distanced his movement from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and said his party was not involved in the unrest there. He also discussed the security situation in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and the party's relationship with Iran and Hezbollah. Hamas estimates that 50,000 Palestinian from Syria now live in Lebanon, down from a peak of 80,000 .Barakeh criticized what he said was "incitement" against the Palestinian population of the camps by the media, which he said falsely implicated Palestinians in recent bombings in the country linked to the Syrian crisis.Barakeh condemned any attacks targeting Egyptian cities or the military and distanced Hamas from the Muslim Brotherhood, saying his movement is independent and is not involved in any violence in Egypt.
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