MAJOR INSULT: Hezbollah and Lebanese figures boycott visit of Hamas leader

“You are not welcome in Beirut, go back to the Arab spring, you wreaked havoc on the Arab homeland,” a former Lebanese minister tweeted against Hamas leader abroad Khaled Mashal.

By Baruch Yedid/TPS

Hamas leader abroad Khaled Mashal faced a significant insult after Hezbollah leaders and Lebanese figures boycotted his visit and refused to meet him because of his support of the rebels in Syria, a position that led to the expulsion of Hamas from Damascus.

Lebanese media ignored Mashal’s visit to Lebanon following the shooting incident, during which three residents of the Burj Shemali camp were killed by unknown individuals, possibly by members of Hamas.

A former Lebanese minister tweeted against Mashal, telling him “you are not welcome in Beirut, go back to the Arab spring, you wreaked havoc on the Arab homeland.”

Asked about the possibility of a meeting with Hezbollah leaders, Mashal said “our doors are open,” and referring to the shooting incident in the Burj Shemali, he said that “Hamas will not be dragged into internal disputes and will maintain stability in the refugee camps.”

Hamas claims that it passed on the names of the shooters, Fatah members, to the Lebanese authorities, and Mashal stressed that they should be punished.

Mashal led the Friday prayers alongside his Hamas comrades at the Al Shahada Mosque in Tyre, in which Hamas has been operating in recent months, according to Arab sources.

However, the disregard for Khaled Mashal stands out mainly against the background of the receptions that Ismail Haniya, the head of the Hamas political bureau, received several months ago.

Arab sources explained that Mashal was ousted from the bureau and replaced by Haniya, due to a rethinking conducted by Hamas on the Syrian issue and the decision to choose Haniya to allow the Syrian doors to open in the future.

In recent years, Mashal has been insulted for being a “homeless boy” with the closure of Hamas’ offices in Syria, and he has been accused of spending his days in hotels and gyms in Qatar.

So far, and despite mediation efforts by Hezbollah and Iran, Damascus has remained locked to Hamas.

Mashal is considered a member of the “Qatari camp” in Hamas and there is a disagreement between him and the members of the “Iran camp” which also supports the need to reopen Syria to Hamas.

Despite the boycott, Mashal met with the Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and the two discussed the situation of the Palestinians in the refugee camps.