The political bureau of the Hamas terrorist organization, long hosted in Damascus, is being forced to seek another venue President Bashar al-Assad faces his own uncertain future.
Talks with Jordan originally planned for earlier this week were also abruptly canceled, with Hamas official Musa Abu Marzouq blaming Jordan for a "lack of commitment." Abu Marzouq told The Jordan Times earlier this week in a telephone interview from Damascus that "As we have yet to receive a positive response from the Jordanian side, there are currently no plans for a visit." Hamas was expelled from the Hashemite Kingdom in 1999.
Cairo, once a possible alternative, is also up in flames, as the Egyptian capital's Tahrir Square is wracked by its rapidly-approaching "Egyptian Revolution - The Sequel."
However, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal is nevertheless scheduled to meet in Cairo Thursday with Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.The two leaders are due to finalize details of a reconciliation agreement between their two PA factions signed last May but as yet not implemented. The deal calls for the immediate formation of an interim government, which allegedly will lead to presidential and parliamentary elections within a year.
But the PA is well known for sabotaging its own electoral process. Abbas, elected president seven years ago, is years past the official expiration of his term. And Hamas is famous for pulling out of reconciliation deals at the last moment.Being without a host for its political bureau, however, may persuade Hamas to be more flexible in its approach to a unity government with Fatah this time around.