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Syria Boots Hamas’ Meshal to Sudan

Michael Sharnoff

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Kuwait’s newspaper Al Rai yesterday, which reported that Hamas leader Khaled Meshal “left” Syria for Sudan. Meshal is the political leader of Hamas. He has lived in Damascus since 1999, when he was expelled from Jordan.

Meshal’s move to Sudan comes as no surprise. As Jonathan Schanzer noted in the Weekly Standard last month, Hamas supports Sudan’s Islamist regime. In fact, Meshal defended Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, who was indicted for war crimes at the international criminal court for genocide in Darfur.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, for his part, appears to have booted Meshal as a measure of good faith to the West as he talks peace with Israel. As I noted in the Washington Jewish Week, peace would require Assad to terminate support for Hamas and Hezbollah. However, Assad has a long-standing relationship with these terrorist groups that will not be easily broken.