Gaza’s Hamas restores ties with Syria after years of tension

Damascus/Beirut, Oct 19 (EFE).- Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist militant organization that rules the Gaza Strip, announced on Wednesday that it has revived ties with the Syrian government, following a decade-long dispute.

“We meet today with president Bashar al-Assad, a meeting we consider historic for a renewed beginning of the joint Palestinian-Syrian ties,” Hamas’ head of Arab relations Khalil al-Hayya told reporters.

Al-Hayya, as well as leaders of other Palestinian factions such as Islamic Jihad, held what he described as a “warm” meeting with al-Assad in the Syrian capital Damascus.

“The president received us with an open heart, an affectionate heart and an uplifting attitude, through which he expressed Syria’s love for Palestine and the Palestinian people… and his determination that today’s meeting opens a new page,” he said.

In a statement, the Syrian presidency confirmed that al-Assad stressed that his country’s support for the Palestinian resistance remains unchanged, despite the 10-year-long civil conflict that has pitted the regime against anti-government forces.

“Syria… will not change and will continue to support the resistance,” al-Assad stressed.

Hamas-Syria relations were severed a decade ago when the Palestinian Islamist movement publicly supported the 2011 protests against al-Assad’s rule and left their base in the Arab country, a move that angered their ally Iran.

Hamas later resumed ties with Iran, which helped the movement build up its missile arsenal.EFE


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