Hezbollah has ordered all Hamas members and officials to leave Lebanon “immediately and within hours” due to their organization’s support for Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Middle East Online
Media sources close to the Palestinian movement Fatah in Lebanon said a Hamas official had informed Ali Baraka, a Hamas representative there, that all Hamas-related persons in Lebanon had become unwelcome.
Baraka denied reports that the group has joined the Syrian opposition, but a Palestinian source at Ain el-Hilweh, a refugee camp in Lebanon, said Hamas support for the rebels is common knowledge.
While Hamas denies supporting the Syrian opposition, the Times of London reported last month that the group’s military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassem Brigades, has been training members of the Free Syrian Army in the Damascus area.
Building on its experience constructing smuggling tunnels between Egypt and Gaza, Hamas has helped the rebels dig a tunnel underneath Damascus in preparation for an attack in the city, according to the Times.
Hamas enjoyed support from the Assad government and its patrons in the Iranian government, and the organization’s leader, Khaled Meshaal, had been based there since the 1990s. Last year, he relocated to Qatar, and other Hamas representatives in the Syrian capital relocated to other Arab countries including Egypt and Jordan.
Syria’s state-run media has characterized Meshaal as “ungrateful and treacherous.”
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