Friday, August 9, 2013

Is Hamas Considering A Move to Beirut?

HamasA little less than two years ago, Hamas had carte blanche to travel between the capital cities of the region, where it was welcomed and bathed in amity; beginning with Tehran, through Damascus, and all the way to Cairo, not to mention the two capitals with which it has the closest ties: Doha and Ankara. But the situation has changed in an alarming fashion, after the movement adopted stances that did not sit well with its Iranian ally.

Then came the events that followed the coup in Egypt; which, as a result of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ouster from power there, caused Hamas immeasurable damage engendered by the loss of this ideologically and geographically close supporter. This led Hamas to search for new alternatives that would help it overcome its current crisis.

As a result, Beirut became the location that witnessed, away from the spotlight, the most intense Hamas related political activity. The choice fell on this city not because it is the capital of Lebanon, but because it is considered to be the stronghold that best attracts all the factions and leaderships that are part of the Iranian alliance. For this reason, successive Hamas delegations came to Lebanon in order to rectify the movement’s political relations with the Iranian axis.

Marathon meetings

The information available to Al-Monitor confirmed that several high-ranking Hamas delegations visited Beirut in mid-June 2013. These delegations included a number of the movement’s political leaders, headed by the political bureau’s deputy chairman, Moussa Abu Marzouk, who met with prominent members of Hezbollah’s leadership, headed by Hassan Hoballah, a member of Hezbollah’s political bureau.

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