(Photo Credit: AP/Sana from Archive)
The Secretary-General of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, Khaled Abdel Majid, confirmed on 18 October that a Palestinian Hamas delegation will visit Damascus on 19 October in a sharp political turn to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Abdel-Majid told Sputnik that President Assad “will only meet with the official of Arab relations in Hamas, Khalil al-Haya, who heads the delegation.”
Majid also said that the Hamas delegation will join the meeting of the central leadership of the coalition of Palestinian forces to discuss the Palestinian-Palestinian dialogues, which took place in Algeria on 13 October.
In September, Hamas announced the mending of its ties with Syria, saying it was “a service to our nation and our causes,” adding that the organization wants to continue “to build and develop solid relations with Damascus.”
Hamas also issued a statement expressing its appreciation for Syria’s leadership and its position to stand by the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israel.
The Palestinian movement left the war-torn country in February 2012, a year after the conflict shook Syria in March 2011. On 28 June, the head of Arab relations of Hamas, Khalil al-Hayya, announced that the movement decided to restore the relationship with Syria.
On 10 October, the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan revealed that the Syrian presidency would receive a delegation of Palestinian factions, including representatives from the resistance wing of the Hamas movement, but that it would exclude the ‘brotherhood wing’ of the organization.
According to sources speaking with Al-Watan, relations at the current stage “are limited to the return of Hamas as an exclusive resistance faction,” and without them having any representation in Syria.
Syria hosted several military commanders of Hamas and helped them upgrade their surveillance and attack drones while they were hosted in the country for military training in 2008.