(JTA) – Hamas is reportedly thinning its ranks in Damascus as pan-Arab pressure builds on the Syrian regime.
Diplomats said this week that the Palestinian Islamist group, which has long had its headquarters in the Syrian capital, has been quietly relocating staff to Gaza following the Arab League decision to suspend Syria over its bloody crackdown on anti-regime protestors, according to news reports.
A Hamas spokesperson denied the report, according to the Jerusalem Post.
According to the diplomats, Hamas has been leaving quietly to avoid Syrian state scrutiny as well all that of Iran, an ally of Damascus and a financial backer of Palestinian terrorist groups. Another Islamist militia supported by Syria, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, has emphasized that its alliance remains sound.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah lauded Syria as a “resistance regime” during a surprise appearance Tuesday before ecstatic crowds of Shi’ite supporters in Beirut. Nasrallah has kept largely out of view since the 2006 war with Israel.
“Every day we are growing in number, our training is getting better, we are becoming more confident and our weapons are increasing,” he said.