Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Fatah warns Hamas against interfering in regional affairs - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page
Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal (C) and members of Hamas' political bureau, Mohammed Nazzal (L) and Mohammed Nasser (R). (AFP PHOTO/KHALIL MAZRAAWI)

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal (C) and members of Hamas’s political bureau, Mohammed Nazzal (L) and Mohammed Nasser (R). (AFP PHOTO/KHALIL MAZRAAWI)

Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Palestinian Fatah movement has called on Hamas not to interfere in the domestic affairs of neighboring Arab countries, emphasizing that such actions will only serve to damage Palestinian national interests.

Fatah’s appeal comes amid accusations of Hamas’s growing interference in Syrian and Egyptian domestic affairs. The Palestinian Islamist group dismissed such claims as groundless.

Fatah’s warning comes after Hamas called on Hezbollah to remove its militants from Syria and concentrate on fighting the Israeli occupation. This call came just three weeks after Assad regime forces, backed by Shi’ite militias including Hezbollah, regained control of the strategically important border town of Qusayr.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for the Fatah Central Committee, called on Hamas to “stop occupying itself with side issues, refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries . . . and cooperate with the rest of the Palestinian factions to reorganize the Palestinian house and achieve national unity.”

Fatah praised Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s “policy of non-interference in the region’s struggles,” stressing that getting involved in the region’s crises would only serve the interests of Palestine’s enemies and the Israeli occupation as well as compromise the future of Arabs and their regional and international role.

The Palestinian group confirmed that it sides with the Arab peoples’ aspirations for “freedom, democracy, and progress.”

For his part, Ghazi Hamad, deputy foreign minister of the Hamas government, emphasized that Hamas formulates its foreign policy based on values rather than interests. Hamad stressed that Hamas takes two principles into consideration when pursuing foreign policy: first, the Palestinian Cause, and second, non-interference in the internal affairs of any country.

Hamad also rejected claims that Hamas is meddling in the domestic affairs of Egypt or that it was behind the recent armed attacks on the Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula.

Earlier this month, Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh denied that members of Hamas were fighting in Syria.

Hamas enjoyed strong ties with the Assad regime, with the Hamas political bureau being based out of Damascus until the political leadership relocating from Syria to Cairo in February 2012 after its operations were affected by the Syrian civil war.

“There is no truth to [claims] that Hamas fighters are in Syria, although we stand on the side of the Syrian people and condemn the brutal attacks they are exposed to,” Haniyeh said.