Hamas in Gaza issues first public challenge to Damascus leadership

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GAZA CITY — For the first time, the Hamas regime has challenged the movement’s leadership in Syria.

Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar has issued the first public criticism of the leadership in Damascus. Zahar, said to be close to Iran, challenged the authority of Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Masha’al, who helped arrange a reconciliation agreement with the rival Fatah movement.

“The leadership is here [in the Gaza Strip],” Zahar said. “And the part [of Hamas] that is abroad is just a part of that.”

Hours after Zahar’s remarks were published, the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip issued a denial of the report in Lebanon’s Al Akhbar daily. The Islamic regime issued a statement that Al Akhbar fabricated Zahar’s criticism of Masha’al.

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