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Hamas voices tacit support for Saudi attack on Yemen

March 29, 2015 11:34 A.M. (Updated: March 29, 2015 11:34 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas movement said Saturday that it supports the self-determination of the Yemeni people and opposes any actions that would put Yemen's security and independence at risk.

The carefully-worded statement came amid a Saudi-led campaign against the Houthi rebel group, which has taken over large swathes of northern and central Yemen in recent months amid a growing power vacuum in the troubled Arabian Peninsula state.

Hamas said that it supported "political legitimacy" in Yemen and backed its "unity, security, and independence." The group also called for national dialogue.

The statement appeared to show tacit support for Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign against the Houthis and the government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who has since fled to Riyadh.

The statement comes shortly after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed strong support for the strikes, claiming the operations were "designed to maintain the unity of Yemen."

Yemeni President Hadi came to power in 2012 amid the Yemeni Revolution and was widely considered to be Saudi Arabia's favored candidate.

The Yemeni government has faced numerous insurgencies in recent decades and large swathes of the country have fallen out of government control, primarily in the East to Al-Qaeda and its allies.

Although the Houthi rebellion began as a social movement more than a decade ago, it has become increasingly militarized and in recent weeks has taken not only the Yemeni capital but also a number of major cities.

The rebellion has the support of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was sidelined by the Saudi-backed national dialogue that strengthened Hadi.
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