web analytics
March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Abbas, Hamas, Flirting With Syria’s Assad

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's gestures toward President Bashar Assad will only bring him closer to Iran, Hizbollah and radical Palestinian groups that oppose any peace with Israel.
together again

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

Recently, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas seem to have changed their policy toward the Syrian conflict.

Neither Hamas nor the Palestinian Authority wants to be seen as siding with Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, most likely out of fear that such support would cost the Palestinians Western sympathy and funding.

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, relations between the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad regime and the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have been tense.

Hamas’s public support for the opposition forces led to the expulsion of its leaders from Syria; and the Palestinian Authority’s failure to support publicly the Assad regime resulted in tensions between Damascus and Ramallah.

After losing faith in the Syrian opposition, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are now trying to mend fences with the regime of Syria’s President, Bashar Assad.

The two rival Palestinian parties are hoping that Assad will forgive them for failing to support his regime against the rebels – a move that has resulted, since the beginning of the civil war, in the displacement and death of tens of thousands of Palestinians living in Syria.

More than 200,000 Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes in several refugee camps in Syria, while another 2,000 have been killed in the fighting between the Syrian army and the opposition forces.

The shift in the Palestinian Authority’s stance became evident during Mahmoud Abbas’s recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

Referring to the Syrian crisis, Abbas said, “While we condemn the crime of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, we have affirmed our rejection of a military solution and the need to find a peaceful political solution to fulfill the aspirations of the Syrian people.”

The Assad regime did not conceal its satisfaction with Abbas’s comments, especially his opposition to a “military solution.” That Abbas refrained from holding the Assad regime responsible for the use of chemical weapons was also received with a sigh of relief in Damascus.

After Abbas’s speech, Assad agreed to meet with senior PLO official Abbas Zaki, who relayed to him a letter from the Palestinian Authority president.

The Syrian news agency Sana quoted the PLO envoy as telling Assad that the Palestinians support Syria in the face of “aggression.” This statement means that the PLO has decided to support Assad against the various opposition groups fighting against his regime.

Meanwhile, Hamas’s efforts to patch up its differences with the Assad regime have thus far been less successful.

In the context of these efforts, Hamas leaders and spokesmen have stopped their rhetorical attacks on the Assad regime. In addition, Hamas has been working hard to distance itself from the Syrian “rebels,” particularly those affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

In a speech in Gaza City last weekend, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh assured Syria and other Arab countries that his movement does not meddle in their internal affairs. “We never sided with [Arab] country against the other,” Haniyeh declared. “We are keen on a unified Arab and Islamic position toward the Palestinian cause.”

Like Abbas, Haniyeh also called for a “political solution and national understandings” in solving Arab disputes.

But while a rapprochement between Hamas and the Assad regime would only serve the Islamist movement’s interests and help it rid itself of its growing state of isolation, especially in the aftermath of the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt, the renewal of ties between the Palestinian Authority and Damascus does not bode well for the future of the peace process.

The Assad regime is not going to change its position toward peace with Israel to appease Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Abbas’s gestures toward Assad will only bring him closer to Iran, Hezbollah and radical Palestinian groups that oppose any peace process with Israel.

About the Author: Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Abbas, Hamas, Flirting With Syria’s Assad”

  1. All nice brothers want to be closer again

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
PLO / PA / Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
PA Back Down on ICC in Exchange for Frozen Tax Revenue
Latest Indepth Stories
Father Gabriel Naddaf with soldiers

My beliefs & actions have led to numerous death threats against me; my excommunication by my church

Islamic Relief Worldwide Logo

In November 2014, Islamic Relief Worldwide was classified as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Safran-032715

Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.

Erica Pelman is a spiritually-driven woman. She is founder and director of “In Shifra’s Arms” (ISA), an organization that offers aid to pregnant Jewish women of all religious backgrounds practically, financially and emotionally. Its arms are open to any pregnant woman in need whether single, divorced, separated, or from a financially-strapped family. “Presently, we are […]

Many so-called “humanitarian NGOs” frequently abuse Israel by applying false moral equivalencies

Israeli history now has its version of “Dewey Defeats Truman” with headlines from 2 anti-Bibi papers

In God’s plan why was it necessary that Moses be raised by Pharaoh, away from his own family&people?

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

In any event, Mr. Netanyahu after the election sought to soften his statement on Palestinian statehood and apologized for what he conceded were remarks that “offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli Arab community.”

A worthy idea any way you look at it.

There is something quite distinctive about the biblical approach to time.

The Waqf kept control of the Temple Mount due to Dayan’s “magnanimity in victory” after 6 Day war

The event promotes “1 state” solution (end of Israel as a Jewish State), BDS, lawfare against Israel

I rescued you?! You’re doing me a favor letting me help you!

More Articles from Khaled Abu Toameh
This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

Kfar Kana Riots

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

Kerry and Obama must start listening to what Palestinian leaders are telling their people in Arabic.

Adult activists who send and encourage children to take part in violence should be held accountable.

To flee Gaza, Palestinian migrants reputedly paid $1000s to Hamas officials and Egyptian smugglers.

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/abbas-hamas-flirting-with-syrias-assad/2013/10/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: