Hamas leaders in Cairo discuss expansion into Syria and Lebanon

The crisis in Gaza is only one item on the agenda of the Hamas delegation’s talks in Cairo since Saturday, Sept. 9, with Egypt’s General Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Khaled Fawzy.

debkafile’s intelligence sources have learned that the Palestinian extremist rulers of Gaza have big plans for building up their power bases in Syria and Lebanon, which is why the delegation is headed by Hamas' new politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh and other top officers.

They hope to take advantage of the warm ties between President Abdel-Fateh El-Sisi and Bashar Assad, whom he quietly backed in the Syrian civil war. Indeed, Egyptian officers have on occasion discreetly acted as mediators between the Syrian military and Syrian rebel militias fighting in the Damascus area.

During the war, Hamas deserted the Assad regime and was punished by being ostracized by Iran, its former patron. But after burying the hatchet with Tehran (see debkafile Exclusive Report of Sept. 1), Hamas has its eye on a campaign to expand its membership by enlisting young Palestinians in the refugee camps outside Damascus and putting them through training courses at new facilities in Lebanon.
The Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman warned Israel’s weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday, Sept. 10, that Hamas was setting up a power base in Lebanon.

Our sources report that Assad’s condition for approving this plan is a public Hamas pledge of support for his regime. Hamas has turned to Cairo for its blessing. It it is forthcoming, Haniya may travel to Lebanon and offer the pledge demanded by the Syrian ruler.

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