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Hamas calls for military action in Syria as Palestinians starve


February 5, 2015

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FORGOTTEN: Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar called on the Assad regime to allow civilians to form pro-Hamas military groups in Syria on Wednesday, even as Palestinians trapped in refugee camps continue to starve under regime siege.

“We demand that all Arab [governments], Lebanese and Syrian, allow for people to form the Al-Qassam Brigade to resist the enemy from the north [Israel], and participate with us in the liberation of Palestine,” said al-Zahar in a press conference in Gaza.

The Al-Qassam Brigade is the military wing of Hamas.

For its part, Syrian regime-affiliated newspaper Al-Watan called al-Zahar’s comments a “coup” against Hamas political leader Khaled Mashal.

“Members of the Hamas movement and followers of Khaled Mashal…are currently fighting the Syrian state, which indicates that al-Zahar’s remarks can be considered a coup [against Mashal].”

Hamas, in rhetorical terms, has allied with the rebels against the Syrian regime.

Al-Zahar’s call comes in the wake of new statistics indicating that at least 165 people have been killed as a result of the ongoing regime siege of the Yarmouk camp, in a report released on Wednesday by the UK-based pro-Palestinian monitoring group Action Based for Palestinians of Syria.

Starvation in the camp, located just south of Damascus, is an ongoing problem, activists have told Syria Direct.

In a picture widely circulated on social media on Thursday, a man in Yarmouk appeals to onlookers to end the blockade.

The siege, which according to the report has been in effect for 658 days, has disrupted water flow into the camp for 148 days. In addition, all bakeries, medical clinics and hospitals in the camp, except the Palestinian Hospital, have been shut down.

-February 5, 2015

-Photo courtesy of Syrian Revolution Lens

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