Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Al Hams/Handout)
Hamas denied Monday that some of its leaders had left Syria or were under
pressure to leave. The denial came in response to a Reuters report that said
dozens of Hamas activists had quietly moved from Damascus to the Gaza Strip
because of the uncertainty surrounding the Syrian regime’s future.
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is still in Syria and working as usual without any change,” said Hamas spokesman
Fawzi Barhoum. Barhoum said that talk about Hamas leaving Syria was designed to
damage the movement’s relations with the regime.
The spokesman said the
Hamas leadership hadn’t made any decision regarding its presence in Syria. He
also denied other reports that Hamas was already searching for alternative
countries to host its headquarters.
Ezat Risheq, a senior Hamas official
in Damascus, said the movement’s leaders, including Khaled Mashaal, were still
in Syria and had not come under pressure to leave.
“We’ve become used to
these baseless reports,” Risheq added. “Once they say we are moving to Jordan,
another time to Qatar and now to Cairo. All these reports are unfounded.”