Hamas delegation to visit Syria, first time in a decade

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on Tuesday announced that a senior Hamas delegation would visit Syria on Wednesday for the first time in 10 years.

Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Hazem Qassem, told Xinhua that the delegation would be headed by Khalil Al-Hayya, the movement’s leader in charge of the Hamas bureau of Arab and Islamic Relations.

“Hamas movement’s delegation will visit Damascus as part of a broader delegation that includes several Palestinian factions,” said Qassem, who declined to say if Hamas leaders will hold talks or meetings with Syrian officials.

On Sept. 15, Hamas announced that it would continue to build and develop solid relations with Syria “to serve the Palestinian people and their just causes.”

The Hamas leadership had taken Damascus as its headquarters since 1999. In 2012 following the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, the movement left Syria and is currently settled in Qatar and Turkey, causing a rupture with the Syrian leadership.

In June, a Hamas source revealed to Xinhua that significant progress had been made to restore the relationship between the movement and Syria following efforts by the Lebanese Hezbollah leadership to bring the two sides together. ■

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