Lebanon News

Hezbollah: Ties with Hamas strong despite Syria differences

The Mahdi scouts carry Hezbollah flags as they parade in the southern border village of Kfar Kila to mark Jerusalem Day, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah MP Kamel Rifai said in remarks Sunday ties between the resistance group and Hamas remain strong despite differences in opinion over the crisis in Syria.

“The relationship between Hamas and Hezbollah is strategic given the stances with regard to the Israeli enemy,” Rifai told pan-Arab Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat.

He also said that there were “solid, military, religious and political ties between the two.”

“The difference in opinions has affected the relationship but the resistance in Lebanon has so much respect for Hamas even if Hamas took such a stance on Syria,” Rifai added.

His remarks are in response to Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official in Lebanon, who said the 21-month old crisis in Syria has caused a stalemate in the relationship between the two resistance groups.

“Ties between Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Hamas are currently at a stalemate as a result of the Syrian crisis,” Hamdan told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency Saturday.

However, the official expected an improvement in the relation with Hezbollah soon after a weeklong conflict between Hamas and Israel came to an end Wednesday.

Hezbollah has repeatedly voiced support for President Bashar Assad but Hamas has refused to take Assad’s side, although the Palestinian movement has always enjoyed the support of Syrian authorities.

Hamas leaders quit the Syrian capital in January of this year.

During his interview with the daily, Rifai said Hezbollah’s assistance to Hamas had not changed given that both parties are committed to the Palestinian cause against Israel.

“Hezbollah has embraced Hamas and continues to do so,” Rifai said.

Rai expressed hopes that ties between the two parties would improve.





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