Jan 8, 2021
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Media chatter concerning the restoration of relations between the Syrian regime and the Palestinian Hamas motion has grown louder following the statements of Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah a few constructive environment surrounding efforts to revive relations between Hamas and the Syrian regime.
In a protracted interview with Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV on Dec. 27, Nasrallah mentioned, “This relationship must be restored, but it will take some time.”
He added that his conferences near Beirut over the previous few months with the pinnacle of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, tackled strategic points together with the restoration of ties with Damascus, the hostility towards Iran and the Arab normalization offers with Israel.
Relations between Hamas and the Syrian regime deteriorated following the outbreak of the Syrian revolution on the finish of 2011. Hamas took an neutral stance within the battle, because it felt that its presence in Syria would come at a political value. Consequently, Hamas left the Syrian territories in early 2012.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused Hamas and a few of its members on a number of events of supporting Syrian opposition teams and preventing alongside them. The regime arrested some Hamas members who remained in Syrian territories and confiscated their properties and the broader motion’s belongings.
Al-Monitor tried to reach a number of Hamas officers to ask about efforts to revive ties with the Syrian regime, however they declined to remark. Sources near Hamas in Lebanon informed Al-Monitor on situation of anonymity that the Hamas management has banned its officers and media spokespeople from speaking to the press concerning the nature of the negotiations to keep away from derailing them.
The sources informed Al-Monitor that there was exceptional progress in talks led by Iran and Hezbollah to revive ties with Syria. They famous that Haniyeh quietly sat down with Nasrallah greater than as soon as in Beirut up to now few months to debate points affecting the relations between Hamas and the regional axis led by Iran that features Syria and Hezbollah in addition to restoring ties with the Syrian regime.
The sources count on 2021 to see some Hamas leaders return to Damascus, as Hamas and the Syrian regime acknowledge the challenges awaiting them and acknowledge that they should settle their variations.
In a Dec. 30 assertion, Hamas condemned the Israeli shelling of Damascus that killed a Syrian soldier.
The mediation led by Iran and Hezbollah started again with the election of a brand new management for the motion in 2017, throughout which Haniyeh was elected as the brand new Hamas chief. Damascus blames the previous Hamas management headed by Khaled Mashaal for the severed ties, as he refused to sentence the protests that emerged towards the Syrian regime. Meshaal additionally raised the Syrian opposition flag throughout a Hamas ceremony within the Gaza Strip in 2012.
A member of the Iranian Parliament informed Al-Monitor on situation of anonymity, “Efforts to restore ties between Hamas and Syria are moving in the right direction and soon they will actually materialize.”
He indicated that the late commander of the Iranian Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, spearheaded these efforts earlier than he was killed in January final yr. Members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Iranian regime, in cooperation with Hezbollah, are persevering with the work.
The official added, “The progress in talks was accelerated by the elimination of armed groups on most Syrian territories and the restoration of the Syrian army’s control over most of the country. The Syrian regime and the other parties of the axis also understood the danger threatening the region after the assassination of [Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen] Fakhrizadeh and before him Soleimani, in addition to cutting off the arms supply routes to the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.”
Despite Hamas’ stance on the Syrian revolution, its relationship with Iran and Hezbollah, the 2 most distinguished allies of the Syrian regime, has not been interrupted, although it has deteriorated. These enduring ties facilitated efforts to revive contact between Hamas and the Syrian regime. Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, led these calls and headed up communications between Hamas and Damascus.
Abdul Sattar Qassem, a professor of political science at An-Najah National University in Nablus, informed Al-Monitor that many causes pushed the Syrian regime to worth restoring ties with Hamas, particularly since Assad had categorically rejected all mediation lately. These causes embody US navy mobilization within the area and fears that the United States and Israel would strike Iran or its allies similar to Hezbollah or the armed factions in Gaza and considerations concerning the Syrian regime taking the remaining territory below the management of the opposition in northern Syria.
Qassem mentioned, “Based on the information that I have because of my good relationship with certain figures in Syria and Lebanon, Iran and Hezbollah have lobbied greatly this year for Assad to relent on the issue of reconciliation with Hamas.” He mentioned he expects Hamas leaders and activists to return to Damascus within the coming months.
Ibrahim al-Madhoun, a political analyst near Hamas, informed Al-Monitor that the hole between Hamas and the Syrian regime has shrunk considerably with the mediation efforts.
Madhoun identified that the latest Arab normalization offers with Israel have prompted Hamas to align itself with Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, saying he expects Hamas to additional strengthen its relations with the axis within the coming months.
Hamas has made a number of statements concerning the companies the Syrian regime offered to the motion when it had a presence in Damascus, significantly the supply of a cargo of Kornet missiles to the motion and different Palestinian factions within the Gaza Strip for use within the combat towards Israel.