Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh calls for a new Intifadah during a speech in Gaza City, on December 7, 2017 (Photo by Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:50 P.M.) – The Russian authorities are mediating a potential reconciliation between the Hamas Movement and the Syrian government, following years of turmoil between the group and Damascus, Al-Monitor reported on Monday.

Citing a press conference from March 4th, Al-Monitor said Hamas’ political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, expressed his support for the Syrian government’s sovereignty over all of Syria. .

“Damascus represents a strategic depth for the Palestinian issue,” Haniyeh said, pointing out that “we had been present in Syria for 10 years.”

According to Haniyeh, Hamas has no fighters in Idlib and the movement will not participate in this battle waged in northwestern Syria.

“We cannot forget this history. There is no policy or any decision by Hamas to engage in the Syrian issue, and I firmly deny the presence of any fighter or martyrs of Hamas in Idlib, or before the [events] of Idlib, or even in the Syrian revolution.”

According to Al-Monitor, Moscow is playing a diplomatic role in reviving relations between Hamas and Damascus, something that has been tried in the past by both Iran and Hezbollah.

“An official at the Russian Embassy in Ramallah, who asked not to be identified, told Al-Monitor, ‘Haniyeh’s meeting with the Russian foreign minister touched on several Palestinian issues at home and abroad, including the situation in Syria,'” the Al-Monitor report said.

The report specified that Hamas is willing to reconcile with the Syrian government, which will likely call on Russia to mediate between the two parties.

Relations between Hamas and the Syrian government were heavily strained during the years Khaled Mesha’al was the leader of the Palestinian movement.

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Mesha’al, who saw the relocation of Hamas’ foreign bureau from Damascus to Doha, previously expressed support to the Syrian opposition, posing next to a flag representing the Free Syrian Army (FSA) during the early years of the conflict.

 

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