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Abu Marzouq: Hamas may stay out of any Israeli-Arab war

May 8, 2013 4:09 A.M. (Updated: May 10, 2013 9:49 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas will not necessarily get involved in any war between Israel and an Arab state, but Syria should respond to Israeli airstrikes on Damascus, a senior Hamas leader said Tuesday.

"Hamas is not a state," Moussa Abu Marzouq told Ma'an. "The occupation (Israel) repeatedly attacks Arab states so does that mean that Hamas should get involved?"

On Friday and Sunday, Israel struck two sites near Damascus. A senior Israeli source said the strikes destroyed Iranian missiles en route to Hezbollah. The UN has protested about Israeli warplanes overflying Lebanon.

Abu Marzouq, the deputy head of Hamas' politburo, said the Syria government should retaliate to the Israeli strikes instead of fighting Syrians. Bashar Assad's regime is in its third year of a conflict against rebels seeking to overthrow the Syrian president.

"As long as the (Syrian) government has missiles they should be fired at Israel not at its people," he said.

Hamas broke with Damascus in 2012, moving its politburo from the Syrian capital to Qatar and severing ties with Assad.

Abu Marzouq denied reports that the party's new Qatari hosts have pressured the party to accept a new Arab League position, accepting land swaps between Israel and Palestine as part of a peace deal.

"There are no notes from Qatar on the party's position on land swaps," Abu Marzouq said.
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