A Saudi newspaper is reporting that according to an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, the Muslim Brotherhood is “the umbrella for many Islamist movements, including Hamas.” According to a report in Asharq Alawsat:
The expected rapprochement between the Muslim Brotherhood and the US, which is trying to establish a foothold in post-Mubarak Egypt, is a test for the group. Observers say that the relations between Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which is considered a part of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, and with which the United States has labeled a terrorist organization, will be one of the most sensitive issues. Analysts are contemplating what the group can offer to get closer to the US dealing with the Islamic resistance movements. Leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood (Freedom and Justice Party) express their belief that the latest US statements (about resuming dialog with the Muslim Brotherhood) mean implicitly contacting Hamas. Dr Essam al-Aryan says: “The Muslim Brotherhood Group as a public Islamic organization is the umbrella for many Islamist movements, including Hamas.” Al-Aryan points out that any contact with the United States ought to be established on Washington’s interests and not Israeli interests.”
The Hamas charter states that it is ” is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and an early media report indicated that shortly after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives were present to review Hamas military formations. In 2007, a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and in 2008, an Israeli TV station reported that Muslim Brotherhood “representatives” had traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the open border to meet with Hamas. Hamas is supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood and a NEFA Foundation report has documented the Hamas fund-raising activities of the Union of Good, a coalition of Islamic charities linked to the Brotherhood that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. Previous posts have also discussed the worldwide campaign orchestrated by the global Brotherhood against Israeli actions in Gaza during the 2008-2009 conflict with Israel.