Following the war in the Gaza Strip in May 2021, important progress was made in reconciliation talks between the leadership of the Hamas organization and Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Syrian President Bashar Assad congratulated Hamas on its achievements in the war against Israel, Hamas thanked him and saw this as a sign of readiness for reconciliation after a ten-year rift.
Following the war in the Gaza Strip in May 2021, the Hamas organization tried to renew its relations between with the Syrian regime that were severed in 2011, following the civil war in Syria, and caused the transfer of the leadership of Hamas from Damascus to Doha, Qatar in March 2012.
President Bashar Assad regularly accuses the Hamas movement of betraying his regime. The Palestinians fought against him in Syria alongside the Sunni rebels, 1700 Palestinians are currently detained in Syria, some of them Hamas operatives who were arrested during the civil war.
All the attempts of the Hamas leadership led by Ismail Haniyeh in the last three years to reconcile with the Syrian president have failed, the top of the Iranian regime, through Qassem Sooleimani and with the help of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah intervened in matter with President Bashar Assad but he rejected all attempts at reconciliation outright, according to Syrian officials, he considered the conduct of Khaled Mashal
a serious act of treason in Syria which supported the Hamas organization all along and helped it for many years.
During operation "Guardian of the Walls" in May 2021, Palestinian officials fired several rockets from Syrian territory at Israel, with the approval of the Syrian regime, as a sign of identification with Hamas.
Sources in Hamas reported that the demand of the movement to renew ties with the Syrian regime has increased, this position is supported by the military wing of the movement and most of the members of its political bureau, Khaled Mashal, the leader of Hamas abroad strongly opposes this, during his time as the head of the political bureau of the movement in 2011 The rift between the Syrian regime and Hamas occurred because of Mashal's strong opposition to the massacres committed by president Bashar Assad against his Sunni people.
Those in the leadership of Hamas who support the restoration of relations with Syria believe that the movement should take advantage of its victory over Israel in order to re-establish itself in Syria and open up from there, in coordination with Syria and Iran, another front against Israel
In their version, the military arm of Hamas can take advantage of its presence in Syria to develop its military capabilities, especially in the field of rockets and precision missiles.
Operation "Breaking Dawn" in the Gaza Strip
The latest round of fighting in the Gaza Strip between Israel and the Islamic Jihad played out the cards and resulted in the cessation of reconciliation efforts between the Hamas movement and the Syrian regime after the Hamas movement refused to fight alongside the Islamic Jihad against Israel.
According to a report in the "Rai Alyoum" newspaper from August 19, the mediation efforts of Iran and Hezbollah between the Syrian regime and the Hamas movement have been frozen because of the decision of the Hamas leadership to avoid a military confrontation with Israel, the Islamic Jihad is very close to the regime of Bashar Assad and the head of its military wing, Akram al-Ajouri lives in Damascus.
The Syrian government even published official announcements criticizing the Hamas movement and accusing it of "betraying the resistance movement".
A Hamas delegation headed by Ismail Haniyeh is scheduled to leave for Tehran soon and explain the meaning of its decision not to participate in the latest round of fighting against Israel alongside the Islamic Jihad. The Iranians are also angry with the Hamas leadership.
Tensions between Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza
Despite the announcements by the leadership of the Islamic Jihad that there are no problems between it and the Hamas movement due to its refusal to participate in the latest round of fighting against Israel, it turns out that on the ground things are completely different, not a single resident of the Gaza Strip buys the mutual propaganda of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations.
The "Al-Sharq Al-Awsat" newspaper reported on August 19 from its sources in the Gaza Strip that the Islamic Jihad withdrew from the joint military operation room of the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip after the last round of fighting in the Gaza Strip.
The Islamic Jihad regards the decision by Hamas as a "stab in the back".
The Islamic Jihad denied the report and there was even a joint meeting of senior Islamic Jihad officials in the Gaza Strip with senior Hamas officials to demonstrate so-called national unity, they published a message about the importance of the joint military work, but the tension between the movements is still high.
Yoni Ben Menachem
Senior Middle East Analyst