Palestinian in Gaza divided over Hamas renewing ties with Assad • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Palestinian in Gaza divided over Hamas renewing ties with Assad

"I cannot understand how Hamas can reconcile with Bashar al-Assad, who committed crimes against humanity no less than what Israel did against our people in Gaza and the West Bank," said one Palestinian in Gaza to The New Arab.

Hamas’ decision to restore relations with the Assad regime in Syria has sparked debate among Palestinians in Gaza, with some considering it an “immoral” move while others argue its merits as a strategic and political step. 

In separate remarks with The New Arab, several Palestinians, however, stressed that it would be better for Hamas to restore relations with its political rival, the  Fatah movement led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“It seems that Hamas is seeking to achieve its own interests only, without caring for the interests of the Palestinian people,” Ibrahim al-Shanti, a resident of Gaza City, told The New Arab.

“At a time when Hamas accepted to restore its relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who killed dozens of thousands of his people, what prevents it from restoring its relations with the Palestinian Authority, which did not commit such crimes,” he argued. 

He remarked that Hamas will likely lose popularity in Gaza and the occupied West Bank by this move. 

On her part, Samia Al-Agbar, another Gaza-based resident, said to The New Arab, “I cannot understand how Hamas can reconcile with Bashar al-Assad, who committed crimes against humanity no less than what Israel did against our people in Gaza and the West Bank.”

“There is no doubt that the Assad regime is criminal and murderous, who caused the destruction of Syria and the displacement of millions of defenceless civilians,” she added. “Hamas has lost a lot of its popularity because of this irresponsible step.”

For his part, Saleh al-Naami, a Gaza-based political analyst, said to The New Arab that Hamas’ decision “is unfortunate and painful, and there is no real justification for such a step (…) All the interests that may combine between Hamas and Syria are false and unreal.”

“I think that the Palestinian people will not forgive the resistance movement (Hamas) on such a decision, especially since Assad’s crimes are no less cruel than those committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians,” he added.

Not everyone in Gaza agrees, however.

For his part, Ismail Atallah, from Gaza City, argues that restoring relations with Syria was a correct move to make, especially as Hamas has become politically isolated in light of the normalisation of several Arab states with Israel.

“Hamas is an essential part of the resistance axis, which includes Syria and Iran (…) The movement expressed its total rejection of Assad’s crimes, but this does not mean that it should maintain its political estrangement from him forever,” Atallah said to The New Arab

“I think that Hamas took this decision to emphasise its connection with the Arab world, especially after Turkey, which hosts the majority of the movement’s leaders, announced the restoration of its relations with Israel,” he added. 

Similarly, Mukhaimar Abu Saada, another Gaza-based political analyst, believes that Hamas was compelled to take such a decision because it “does not have the full ability to refuse to restore relations with Syria, because of its close relations with Iran, the main ally of the Assad regime, which provides it with money, weapons and other logistical support.”

“Hamas suffers from political isolation at the Arab level, especially in light of Arab-Israeli normalisation and the return of relations between Turkey and Israel. It had to make its final decision between remaining alone in the confrontation or returning to the alliance between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah,” he said to The New Arab.

 

 

 

 

Source: The New Arab 

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of the Observatory.