Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
11:46 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Hezbollah, Hamas play down rift after talks
Palestinians wave Hamas flags during a rally at Fatima gate near the village of Kfar Kila, on the Lebanese-Israeli border, as they celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Sunday, May 22, 2005. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
Palestinians wave Hamas flags during a rally at Fatima gate near the village of Kfar Kila, on the Lebanese-Israeli border, as they celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Sunday, May 22, 2005. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
A+ A-

SIDON, Lebanon: Hezbollah and Hamas downplayed over the weekend reports of a rift between the two resistance movements over the crisis in Syria, after a round of apparent reconciliation talks that called for an end to sectarian rhetoric in the region. Hamas officials stressed that their relationship with Hezbollah remained strong despite their differences over Syria, where the U.N. estimates that over 93,000 people have died since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March 2011.

“The relationship between Hamas and Hezbollah is solid and strong, and our offices are in our safe refuge in the heart of Dahiyeh,” a Hamas official, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Daily Star. “Hezbollah has its own political view and we also have our own different view on the events in Syria.”

Hamas officials vacated their offices in Syria and sided with the rebels after the start of the uprising, citing regime violence.

The official’s comments coincided with a meeting held Saturday between Hezbollah and Hamas officials, including former Hezbollah MP Hasan Huballah and Ali Barakeh, the Hamas representative in Lebanon.

A statement by Hezbollah’s media office said the officials discussed “the existential challenges targeting the Muslim and Arab world today, particularly the war in Syria and its consequences for the whole region, especially the resistance project, the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people.”

The Hamas official, who traveled between Damascus and Beirut prior to the uprising, said Hamas left Syria due to security concerns and the regime’s refusal to protect Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in a mediation attempt with the opposition in Deraa, the town that sparked the uprising.

He denied that Hamas had sent soldiers to take part in recent fighting in the town of Qusair, though he said a few “experts and fighters” have taken up arms without the party’s blessing.

He disclosed details of a secret meeting late last week between Hezbollah and a high-ranking Hamas official carrying a letter from Meshaal. Hezbollah responded to the letter by stressing unity with Hamas and calling on it to help defuse sectarian tension.

Hezbollah also thanked Hamas for its efforts in preventing the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon from being drawn into the Syrian conflict.

Reports of tensions between Hamas and Hezbollah gained steam in recent weeks, with allegations that Hamas had sent fighters to Qusair, where regime forces backed by Hezbollah fought a fierce battle to regain control of the town on the border of Lebanon.

One Hezbollah fighter also claimed that Hamas had trained rebel fighters in combat tactics originally gleaned from Hezbollah.

Last week, the Lebanese General Security directorate denied a report in the Kuwaiti newspaper As-Seyassah claiming that Hamas officials were being denied entry visas based on instructions from Hezbollah.

Tensions have mounted recently between Beirut’s southern suburbs and the surrounding refugee camps, with shootouts between Shiite and Palestinian gunmen.

Informed sources told The Daily Star that Hamas had prevented some Palestinian camp residents from burning aid packages provided by Hezbollah for Syrian refugees.

The sources also denied that Hamas was planning to move operatives from the Palestinian Yarmouk camp in Syria to Lebanon.

The U.N. estimates that over half a million Syrians have fled to Lebanon since the uprising started.

Hamas spokesman Raafat Murra denied that Hamas had been asked to leave its offices in the Beirut southern suburbs, Hezbollah’s stronghold in Beirut, adding that the meeting was “normal and friendly after the tensions in the region.”

Last week, the Hezbollah leadership issued a memo to all officials prohibiting them from making statements against Hamas or leaking anti-Hamas information to the media.

The Hezbollah media office statement said the officials “reaffirmed Syria’s unity in the face of the Zionist-American project in the region,” and rejected foreign intervention.

The officials called on “country leaders, religious scholars and party leaders to work strenuously to stop sectarian and religious agitation,” according to the statement.

The officials also condemned what they said was the Israeli exploitation of regional tensions to step up a campaign of oppression against the Palestinians, and called on the international community to aid Palestinian refugees fleeing the violence in Syria.

The Hamas official also gave additional details on his party’s stance on the situation in Syria, saying they had opposed what he called the “militarization” of the revolution.

He said his group had decided to leave Syria shortly after a breakdown in communications when Meshaal refused to pose for a photograph with Assad to show support for the regime.

The Hamas official said Hezbollah continued to provide security for Hamas officials and their families in Lebanon, adding that he believed there had been a campaign by some Lebanese and Palestinian factions to damage the relationship between the two resistance movements.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 17, 2013, on page 4.
Home Lebanon News
 
     
 
Lebanon
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
More from
Mohammed Zaatari
 
 
Tripoli security plan sparks unrest, rockets strike Bekaa towns
 
 
Wanted Islamist escapes assassination in Sidon
 
 
Machnouk: Palestinians must give up arms
 
 
Sidon vendors mutilate themselves in protest
 
 
Army arrests key Al-Qaeda agent
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS