Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat –Hamas political bureau deputy chief Moussa Abu Marzook sought to draw a line under the speculation regarding Hamas’s position in Syria, confirming that the Palestinian movement has left Syria because it respects “the will of the people” and rejects the “security solution” being enacted by the al-Assad regime.
Abu Marzook, in an interview with the Associated Press [AP], revealed that Hamas political bureau chief Khalid Mishal and his closest aides have moved to Doha. He said “the Iranians are not happy with our position on Syria, and when they are not happy they don’t deal with you in the same old way”, in a reference to a decline of Iranian financial aid to Hamas.
The Hamas political bureau chief stressed that the Palestinian movement has left Syria in protest against the “bloody” campaign being carried out by the al-Assad regime. Abu Marzook clarified “our position on Syria is that we are not with the regime in its security solution, and we respect the will of the people.”
Abu Marzook noted that Hamas still has offices in Syria, but asserted that “practically, we are no longer in Syria, because we couldn’t practice our duties there.”
The Syrian National Council [SNC] welcomed Hamas’s support of the Syrian revolution. SNC Executive Committee member Samir Nashar informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “Hamas has taken the correct position, albeit late” adding “the gradual withdrawal of its leadership from Syria suggested that it would ultimately take a public position supporting the Syrian revolution.”
Nashar also stressed that “any movement that supports liberation and resistance must stand with the Syrian people, and this is what Hamas has done, particularly as the al-Assad regime is nothing more than another face of occupation.”
The SNC Executive Committee member also revealed that “the latest position taken by Saudi Arabia – which sent a clear message that the Syrian regime must go – represented an impetus to Hamas and other movements or governments that are reluctant to take the right position and support the Syrian people.”
Nashar also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “a number of SNC members – including myself – met with Hamas political bureau chief [Khalid Mishal] in Doha by chance as we were staying in the same hotel” adding “he [Mishal] informed us of his support for the just demands of the Syrian people and their revolution, but we did not ask anything more from him, as we are well aware of the position and specifications of the [Hamas] movement.”
As for the possibility of Hezbollah taking a similar position as Hamas on the Syrian revolution, Nashar said “we do not see any possibility of this happening because we are well aware of the ideological and political ties between Hezbollah and Iran, therefore Hezbollah’s position will not change unless Tehran’s position changes.”
He added “however, we must note that the last two speeches given by Hassan Nasrallah were less severe than before, as he called for political dialogue and implicitly recognized the necessity of achieving the demands of the [Syrian] people.”
Nashar stressed that “Hezbollah stands against the freedom of the [Syrian] people, and this is something that we reject.”
Hamas deputy political bureau chief Moussa Abu Marzook’s position is the latest in a series of Hamas positions supporting the “Syrian revolution”. Prior to this, Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, speaking to a rally outside of Cairo’s Al-Azhar mosque, said “I salute all the people of the Arab Spring, or rather the Islamic Winter” adding “I salute the heroic Syrian people, who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform.”
In this regard, Hezbollah has continued to voice its support for the al-Assad regime, with Hezbollah international relations official Ammar Moussawi recently stated “all forms of the opposition that evolve in the embrace of foreign powers cannot be viewed as national opposition and cannot be trusted to guide the future of the nation and homeland, not in Lebanon, nor in Syria, nor in any other Arab country.”
Moussawi also stressed that “Syria today is subject to a foreign conspiracy and when more people become aware of this the situation will become more stable. The conspiracy that brought together differences parties and powers at the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ conference will be destroyed by the steadfastness of the Syrian people, particularly as this [conference] included a lot of enemies of the Syrian and Palestinian people, from our own experiences in previous years, as they were and continue to be hostile to many regional Arab and Palestinian issues.”