The Hamas leadership has sent Hezbollah a missive of condolences following Sunday’s assassination of operative Samir Kuntar, a gesture that irked some of its supporters, Breitbart Jerusalem has learned.
Two letters were sent to the Lebanese militia, one signed by political leaders Khaled Mashal and Ismail Haniyeh, and another signed by the commander of the military wing, Mohammed Deif, extending sympathies following the deadly attack near Damascus, that was allegedly carried out by Israel.
Kuntar was released from Israeli prison 29 years after carrying out a terror attack in which an Israeli man and his 4-year-old daughter were killed.
Following his assassination, Hamas released a statement of condemnation hailing him as a “great Arab fighter” boasting an impressive record in the struggle against Israel.
Hamas’ heartfelt support for Hezbollah was met with some criticism from activists and ideological leaders associated with the Muslim Brotherhood – the umbrella group to which Hamas is affiliated – an adamant opponent of the embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, Hezbollah’s patron.
The Jordanian columnist Yasser Za’atreh, a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer and a close associate of Mashal, tweeted that Hamas’ statement was “overly sycophantic, ridiculous and contempt and disdainful.” Za’atreh went on to say that the movement should be more mindful of its good name.
إلى حماس وكتائب القسام: لا تكونوا عبئا على محبيكم. إيران تشن عدوانا على الأمة، وأي موقف مجامل لها مهما كان يسيء لكم، والأمة غير الأنظمة.
— ياسر الزعاترة (@YZaatreh) December 20, 2015
In a separate Facebook post, he told Hamas: “Don’t burden those who love you. Iran is bent on destroying our nation, and your conciliatory approach will come back to haunt you.”
Omar Mushaweh, a spokesperson for the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, also published a fiery response.
“We condemn Hamas’ expression of regret over the killing of the top Hezbollah operative Samir Kuntar,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “In our view, that murderer and his organization are involved in spilling Syrian blood and are complicit of the crimes of the Syrian regime.”
Social networks were abuzz with criticism of Hamas’ stance, including from its own supporters. One of them was Baraa Rayan, an editor of a popular Hamas website and the son of a top Hamas operative who was killed in 2009 Gaza war, asked: “If an American F-16 destroyed the caliph of Daesh, you’d issue a condemnation.”
“Many resent Hamas’ silence on the Syrian question,” he added. “They’d want Hamas to return to its original stance [opposing the Assad regime].”