The London-based al Hayat newspaper reported on Wednesday that the relations between the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement "Hamas" and the Syrian authorities have been severely strained over the first's position regarding the Syrian uprising.
The paper quoted source as saying that all the leading officials of Hamas except its Political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshal have already left Damascus to other countries. Hamas's second in command abroad Moussa Abu Marzouk, left Damascus to Amman. His presence in the Jordanian capital is conditional for not having any political or media activity.
The source pointed out that a decision by Meshal to leave Syria is yet to be taken. According to the reports, there have been talks with a number of countries led by Jordan in order to receive Meshal.
According to the source, the personal tension started as the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began when Meshal proposed the Syrian leader to reform. Later, Meshal asked for a meeting with Assad, but was refused.
After that, Meshal paid a secret visit to Beirut and met with Secretary General of Hizbullah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and asked him to intervene to advise the Syrian leadership regarding the need to respond rapidly to the demands of the demonstrators. Meshal said Hamas could not stand by the Syrian regime amid the bloodshed.
Nasrallah promised d Meshaal he would try to arrange him a meeting with Assad. However, asrallah failed to arrange this meeting.
Following the tensions with Syria, Iran appeared to enter the frame by applying pressures on Hamas, including suspending financial aid that was delivered each month to the Palestinian movement. This Iranian move led to a financial crisis in the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, Hamas has denied comments attributed to Meshal, criticizing Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi over the Syrian uprising. The Palestinian movement said in a statement on Wednesday, the reports by some media were "totally fabricated and unfounded."
The Association of Syrian radio and television has reported that Meshal expressed his disappointment and surprise over Qaradawi's support of the Syrian revolt. It quoted Mashal as saying that in past years President Bashar al-Assad was the only Arab ruler to protect and support Palestinian rights.