By Damir Nazarov

The Sinwar effect

October 6, 2019

WEST SIBERIA/ TYUMEN - Since the appointment of Yahya Sinwar as head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, there has been an expected shift in the Palestinian organization towards the Axis of Resistance. Whereas with Iran and Hezbollah the main points of the contradictions over Syria were successfully overcome (it is worth pointing out that the military wing-al-Qassam Brigades never severed ties with Tehran), the problem of relations between Hamas and the Syrian government itself has yet to be resolved.

To clarify this further, I suggest we attempt an examination of a series of official statements delivered by Hamas representatives from year 2017 to 2019. Thus, it can be seen that the arrival of Sinwar influenced the revision of the former position of the leading Palestinian party on the Syrian issue, which can be found in official statements and various media resources referring to Hamas representatives. Thus, these statements can be interpreted as positive signals from the new Hamas leadership towards official Damascus.

So quotes:

28.08.2017 - Yahya Sinwar stressed that a “breakthrough” had occurred in the Syrian crisis, and he said that it would offer an opportunity to improve relations between Hamas and the Assad government . “We are waiting for the right time to restore that relationship so that Hamas remains out of the power struggles in the region. We are adopting a 'zero-problems' policy with all parties, so as to serve the Palestinian cause,” Sinwar said.

11.06.2018 - Ismail Haniyeh talks about Hamas relationship with Syria.

22.03.2019 - Fawzi Barhoum: "Hamas vehemently condemns the Trump’s announcement that the US administration recognizes the Israeli occupation’s sovereignty over Golan Heights, occupied by the Israeli occupation in 1967."

25.03.2019 - Ismail Haniyeh: "The Trump administration’s weird decisions would not alter the history and geography of Syria. The Golan Heights are a Syrian territory and the US decree could not abolish the Syrians’ rights to Golan."

3.04.2019 - Ali Baraka, told Al-Monitor that Hamas’ condemnation of the US Golan decision is a matter of principle that applies to any Arab land subjected to aggression.

28.05.2019 - Hazem Qasem said "The Israeli bombardment on Syrian and Lebanese territories is a continuation of the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Arab nations".

01.07.2019 - Hamas condemns the appalling Israeli occupation’s attacks on Syria and its deliberate killing of Syrian in cold blood.

20.07.2019 - Ismail Haniyeh told Turkish journalists that he hopes relations with Damascus can be “repaired and rebuilt.”

09.07.2019 - Mahmoud al-Zahar told the Beirut-based Al-Nahda news website - “I think we should not have abandoned Assad. We would have been better off not taking sides in the crisis from the very beginning”.

26.07.2019 - Yahya Moussa told Al-Monitor “The return of Syria's role in the region will be a plus for all Arabs”.

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