Hamas officials have asked Syria to help find its former official who was kidnapped in Damascus on Saturday, Arab media reported. Mustafa Lidawi., 64, was abducted while driving his car in the Syrian capital, according to the London-based Arabic-language Al Hayat newspaper.
Lidawi previously served as Hamas’ contact in Iran, Syria and Lebanon after being expelled from Gaza to Lebanon in 1991.He had held several leadership positions within the Gaza-based terror organization, including representative in Syria, Lebanon and Iran.
Lidawi has been working as a journalist for several years and has been critical of supreme Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. He wrote in January that Mashaal would step down when elections for a leader of the terror organization are supposed to be held in several months. A Hamas spokesman at the time said that the report was speculation.
Mashaal has headed the political bureau of Hamas since 1996 and was based in Damascus, from where most of Hamas’ officials have fled during the ongoing rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Mashaal’s family reportedly is in Jordan.
Lidawi also wrote that that Hamas should distant itself from violence and follow the model of the non-violent Arab Spring rebellions that have resulted in the downfall of the regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and now threaten Assad.