Palestinian media is reporting that Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal has expressed support for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. According to a report by the International Middle East Media Center:
Head of the Political Bureau of the Hamas movement, Khaled Mashal, stated that the Hamas movement supports the Syrian President, Bashar Assad, “As he supported the Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian people in every possible way,” according to Mashal, the Milad News Agency reported. The Hamas official said that Hamas “Respects and supports the Syrian President and the Syrian People,” and that Hamas believes in “democracy, reform and the rights of the peoples,” adding that Hamas rejects any solution that is based on shedding the blood of the people. He further stated that the strategy of the Hamas movement is based on not interfering in internal politics of other nations. “We never interfere in issues related to internal politics of other nations,” Mashal said, “We advise the nations to conduct reforms, implement freedoms and democracy.” Mashal acknowledged that the stance of Hamas regarding the Syrian regime “might not be welcomed by others,” and said that “We find it enough to obey our God, and clear our conscious.” He further confirmed that the leadership of Hamas is still based in Syria, and that he personally travels to Damascus despite the fact that some Hamas leaders left the country “due to social issues, or due to the requirements of their jobs.” The Syrian revolution started on March 17 this year, demanding an end to the rule of Assad and his regime; thousands of Syrians have been killed and wounded after being fired at, and even bombarded by the army of Assad; dozens of soldiers and figures have now defected from the regime and expressed support to the revolution. The revolution is still ongoing with no foreseeable solution.
U.K. media had reported that Hamas was considering whether to pull its exiled leadership out of Syria as the organisation reassesses its alliance with the Syrian President.
The Hamas charter states that it is ” is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and an early media report indicated that shortly after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives were present to review Hamas military formations. In 2007, a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and in 2008, an Israeli TV station reported that Muslim Brotherhood “representatives” had traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the open border to meet with Hamas. Hamas is supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood and a NEFA Foundation report has documented the Hamas fund-raising activities of the Union of Good, a coalition of Islamic charities linked to the Brotherhood that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. Previous posts have also discussed the worldwide campaign orchestrated by the global Brotherhood against Israeli actions in Gaza during the 2008-2009 conflict with Israel. Anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli incitement in Hamas media is commonly reported.
A previous post discussed an Israeli analysts policy brief on the choices facing Hamas given the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. Another post discussed an interview with Khaled Meshaal in which he said that the group is “looking to focus it energies on popular resistance” without giving up the “right to armed struggle against Israel.”