A senior official in the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement has confirmed the accuracy of reports that Hamas has decided to make efforts to restore relations with the regime in Syria. The head of the movement's Arab and Islamic Relations Office, Khalil Al-Haya, told Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar on Tuesday that it "approved" of such a move.
"There were discussions within Hamas at home and abroad regarding the restoration of relations with Syria," explained Al-Haya. "The end result was that it was agreed to seek ways to do so." He did not provide any further details.
A Palestinian source revealed last week that Hamas and the Syrian regime are preparing to turn a new page and restore relations between them after a 10-year estrangement. The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said that, "A significant development has occurred recently in the issue of the relationship, represented by the two parties' agreement to reopen direct communication channels, and to conduct serious and constructive dialogue to prepare the way."
He pointed out that "determined mediation efforts" have been made by the leadership of Lebanon's Hezbollah over the past few months. These have led to the "green light" being given for practical steps to bring Damascus and Hamas closer. The source added that the Hamas decision was "unanimous".
From 1999 to 2012 the Hamas leadership was based in the Syrian capital. It left Damascus following the outbreak of the Syrian revolution against the Assad regime.
READ: Hezbollah, Hamas leaders hold talks in Beirut