Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS)-Linked Body Calls On Hamas To Reconsider Its Ties To Iran And Syrian Regime Following Recent Meeting With Lebanese Hizbullah

June 24, 2022

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On June 23, 2022, the Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS)-linked Department of Political Affairs in the Liberated Areas  issued a statement addressing the decision of Gaza-based Hamas to dispatch a delegation to Lebanon. As part of the visit, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh reportedly met with senior members of Lebanese Hizbullah (LH), including LH Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. The statement, issued following the visit, urged Hamas to reconsider its cooperation with Tehran, citing crimes committed by Iran-backed militias against the Syrian people by supporting the Assad regime.[1]

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Titled "A Call To Advise The Brothers In The Hamas Movement," the statement firstly reminded Hamas of the goals shared by "the Palestinian resistance and the Syrian revolution," namely, to resist the "occupation [of] Israel and the Assad regime." Resisting occupiers and fighting for freedom is "a great honor and a holy duty," said the statement, expressing hope that the Palestinian people will attain "freedom and a fair return to their land and country."

The statement then criticized Hamas for taking steps to restore relations with the Assad regime. "These steps are [considered to be] normalization [of relations] with the tyrants and the axis fighting against the people and their resistance. [...Such steps] are against the will and admiration of the people, even if it benefits Hamas' interests as an organization," it argued.

Pointing out HTS's previous condemnation of Hamas' statements in support of Iran, it read: "[Hamas'] statements provoke the Syrian people and the peoples of the region who have suffered from the crimes of Iran and its militias in the past years." It continued: "The choice to stand by Iran from one side, and with the Syrian regime form the other is an attempt to end the resistance movement [in general] and its significance to the Arab and Islamic nations." 

In conclusion, the statement advised Hamas to review its policies and reconsider its relations with Iran, LH, and the Syrian regime, in order to preserve its "authentic principles and honorable heritage."

[1] Telegram, June 23, 2022.

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