Rassegna Esteri

What are outcomes of Syria-Hamas rapprochement?

Al Waght News – After a decade of fueling the crisis in Syria by the Western-Arab-Israeli camp to topple the Syrian government, not only these efforts went nowhere but also Arab states in a tangible retreat moved to mend ties with Damascus and a diplomatic traffic in the Arab world to restore ties with Syria is observable. 

Meanwhile, the former Palestinian allies of Syria which were expected to initiate the reconciliation with Damascus sooner than others because of having common enemy, regional strategic interests, and a history of vast cooperation with the Syrian government have put unnecessary delay to this process. 

Now reports suggest that Palestinian groups are on the path to reconciliation with Damascus. An official in the Palestinian movement Hamas announced that the relations between with Syria are on the path of revival after a decade. The Palestinian official said that contacts with Syria were improving and on the way back, and that Hamas leaders had made many trips to Damascus. The Hamas official said that Syria supports the Palestinian cause and people, and that Hamas is interested in restoring relations with Syria and all Arab countries. Hamas leaders had started in informal relations with Syria three years ago, and these relations are now set to given publicity, he went on. 

Hamas and Syrian government’s ties went chilly and then crisis-hit since 2011, the year a crisis and civil war erupted in Damascus as the West and its regional allies sought to oust President Bashar al-Assad from power using a litany of terrorist groups headed by the ISIS. Influenced by anti-Syrian agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood camp that included Turkey, Qatar, and Egypt’s short-lived government of Mohamad Morsi, Hamas separated ways from its long-term backer Syria upon the start of Syrian crisis. But after it figured out the secret plans of the US and its allies, it separated ways from a front supporting heinous terrorism in Syria and moved to rebuild ties to Damascus. 

In 2018, when reports of contacts with Syria were published, Hamas Political Office head Ismail Haniyeh said that the movement cut its ties with Damascus based on its own specific principles and the decision to do so was right at the time and if the ties with Damascus are revived, it would be based on “circumstances and requirements of the present.” 

Syria’s longstanding support for the Palestinians 

Syria has always been the main backer of the Palestinian groups, with massive supports in the face of the Israeli regime. Since foundation of the Israeli regime, Damascus hosted thousands of Palestinians displaced by the Israeli occupation. Even in four Israeli-Arab wars, Syria played a leader’s role pushing to retake occupied Palestinian territories. This has been its policy for seven decades. Even in last year’s Israeli war on Gaza, dubbed by Palestinians Operation Sword of Al-Quds, Damascus granted the Palestinians a “coordination room”, playing a marked role in Israeli defeat. For its common borders with the occupied Palestine, Syria can play a key role in strengthening anti-Israeli resistance both in Palestine and Lebanon. Actually, Syria plays a pivotal role in the security belt of the Axis of Resistance which stretches from Iran to Lebanon. 

The war on Syria started with the aim of weakening the Axis of Resistance, but 11 years after the Syrian crisis, now the Resistance camp is not only not weak but is at all-time peak of power with the defeat of foreign-backed terrorist groups as in recent years new branches in Iraq and Yemen grew for it. Therefore, Hamas can enjoy the support of the Resistance front in the region by improving relations with Syria. The joint room of Resistance provided logistical and military support to the Hamas And Islamic Jihad in Operation Sword of Al-Quds, ending the 11-day war with victory for the Palestinian groups. 

Some political observers think that stronger ties with Iran and tense relations with Saudi Arabia, as well as surprising Turkish shift to friendly ties with the Israeli regime, are prompting Syria-Hamas relations rebuilding. 

Since Syria is the linking ring in the Axis of Resistance, the Palestinians are well aware of Damascus’s important geopolitical position and strategic role in the Palestinian developments. Given the fact that in recent years the West and its Arab and Israeli allies tightened the noose on Hamas and other Gaza-based groups, improvement of relations with Syria can enable Hamas development of a shield and a united political front in the face of the threats. 

Syria’s starring role in weakening of Israel 

Strategically speaking, the unity of the Palestinian groups and Syria can crucially boost the balance of terror between the Resistance and Israel. The increase in security and military activities of the Tel Aviv in recent years on the border areas of Gaza and Syria, in fact, indicates its growing vulnerability in the face of simultaneous dangers from different fronts. 

The Golan Heights, now for decades under the Israeli occupation, can significantly enable blows to Tel Aviv due to its importance to the Resistance camp. 

As the security situation in the Golan Heights shifts from passive to active tensions, Syria is virtually connected to the West Bank borders, leaving Israel completely surrounded by the Axis of Resistance. Therefore, the activation of the Golan Heights front requires the unity and solidarity of the Resistance branches, especially Syria and the Palestinian groups in Gaza. If Syria is directly connected to the West Bank, aids would flow easily to Hamas and other Palestinian groups in the fight against the Israelis, in which case Tel Aviv will not be able to freely take military adventures in Gaza, though Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s power has already largely taken from the Israelis the power for adventures. 

The new Hamas policy for closeness to Syria explains its strategy of  reinforcing the anti-Israeli front, because increased threats to Israeli borders and concerns of Israeli leaders and citizens about erudition of clashes in various fronts would empower the Palestinians against Israel. Already popular at home for its victories against Tel Aviv in wars, Hamas can see its regional position improving if it mends ties with Syria that emerged stronger from a universal war. 

After Operation Sword of Al-Quds, Hamas relations with the Axis of Resistance surged, with the movement enjoying political position regionally and internationally beside its military power. Therefore, Hamas leaders know that relations with the branches of Resistance camp, particularly Syria, is a strategic policy. The most important point of common ground between Hamas and the Axis of Resistance is the implacable enmity to the Israeli regime and the liberation of the Palestinian territories, and if all members of the Axis are connected in chains, they can weaken their occupying enemy and eventually bring it collapse. According to observers, Hamas officials have concluded that strong ties with Damascus as one of the key pillars of Resistance camp in the form of a strategic plan are essential to thwart the plots of the Israeli-Western alliance against Palestine. 

With Syria successfully beating the Israeli-Western plots and Hamas gaining more military power, they now have the notion that they need each to advance their plans against a common enemy like Israel. Syria is a gate for military assistance to Gaza and Gaza-based groups, representing the Axis of Resistance, are standing in the face of the Israeli occupation. Bolstering the Resistance branches can encircle the Israelis from all sides.

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