Hamas denies Hezbollah booting it out of Lebanon

Palestinian terror group and Shiite militants divided over Syrian civil war

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Hamas man. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Hamas man. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Hamas on Thursday denied that its members had been told by Hezbollah they were no longer welcome in Lebanon due to their support for rebels fighting the Syrian government.

Opposition forces reported on Thursday that Hamas representative Ali Baraka was told by Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group, to leave the country immediately.

Baraka later told Lebanese media that members of Hamas, the terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, intended to stay in Lebanon and there was to be no change in the relationship between the two organizations.

Hezbollah has sided with the forces of embattled President Bashar Assar against the rebels that seek to oust him, and reportedly has 7,000 gunmen fighting in Syria.

At the beginning of April the Times of London reported that Hamas operatives were training rebel fighters in Syria.

Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal has never publicly taken sides, but in early 2012 he slipped out of Syria for Qatar, drawing an angry response from Damascus.

In February 2012, Hamas’s Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh openly called for support of the rebels, aligning himself alongside other Sunni groups that have struck out against the Alawite Assad and his Shiite backers.

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