Ex-Hamas official freed in Damascus (JERUSALEM POST) By OREN KESSLER 04/18/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
A former top Hamas official was released Monday night after being
captured two days earlier in Damascus, Palestinian media reported.
Mustafa Lidawi’s family told the Ma’an News Agency he was released
after unidentified gunmen held him for two days in the Syrian
capital. Lidawi was captured near his home Saturday night in
Damascus’s sprawling Yarmouk refugee camp, according to the London-
based newspaper Al-Hayat.
Israel expelled Lidawi, 64, from the Gaza Strip in 1991.
Since then he has held a number of high-level positions with Hamas,
including as the group’s representative in Syria, Lebanon and Iran.
In recent years he has been based primarily in Tehran, where he works
as a columnist for Arabic-language newspapers.
As the violent Syrian uprising enters its second year, Hamas has been
keen to distance itself from its one-time patron in Damascus.
In February, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh expressed support
for the predominantly Sunni insurgents fighting President Bashar
Assad’s regime – the first time the group has come out publicly
against its former benefactor. Since then the group is believed to
have moved most of its leadership out of its former headquarters in
the Syrian capital in favor of cities in Egypt, Jordan and Qatar.
Yarmouk – Syria’s biggest Palestinian community with 140,000 people –
has not been immune to the violence rocking the country. Last month
an explosion targeting the Palestinian Liberation Army militia killed
three people in the camp, and last summer at least 14 people were
killed there in clashes between supporters and opponents of the
In August thousands of Palestinians fled a refugee camp near Latakia
as the coastal city came under army fire. Jerusalem Post staff
contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/18/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY