Hamas officials meet Syrian president in Damascus in apparent Iranian effort to encircle Israel

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The first Hamas delegation to Syria in a decade met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Wednesday, following years of strained ties between the Syrian regime and the Islamist terrorist organization that rules Gaza. 

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qasem confirmed that the Hamas officials arrived in Syria alongside other rival Arab factions based in Gaza and the Judea-Samaria region. 

“The trip is part of a visit by a number of delegations from Palestinian factions to Damascus,” Qasem said. 

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said in a press conference that the goal of the trip to Syria was to restore relations with the Assad regime. 

“We are restoring our relations with Syria, with the consensus of our leadership,” al-Hayya said, calling the meeting “historic” and assuring journalists that the two sides had repaired their bilateral ties. 

“We are restoring our relations with Syria, with the consensus of our leadership,” al-Hayya said, calling the meeting “historic” and assuring journalists that the two sides had repaired their bilateral ties. 

The burden against Damascus: “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap.” Isaiah 17:1

“We have overcome the past,” he said. 

Al-Hayya indicated that the trip to Syria was a response to alleged Israeli policies in the disputed territories – a “natural response to Israeli schemes against the Palestinian cause.”

Al-Hayya tried to downplay tensions between Hamas and its main rival, Fatah, the party led by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

“We are a united nation and resistance in the face of Zionist projects,” he said.

The Hamas official also stressed mutual support between Hamas and the Assad regime in Syria. 

“Syria is supportive of the cause and the Palestinians, and we assured Bashar Assad that we are with a united Syria,” al-Hayya said.

In 1999, Hamas chose the Syrian capital, Damascus, as its international headquarters.

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