Israeli analyst Pincus Inbari has published a policy brief titled “Hard Choices for Hamas with the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.” The opening summary states:
- Hamas is abandoning the sinking ship of Syria and many senior cadres have already settled in Gaza. At the same time, Iran has cut its subsidy to Hamas
- Not only is there a need to find new accommodations for Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal and company, but there is also a political price: the need to decrease terror and transform itself from a pro-Iranian/Syrian “muqawama” (“resistance”) movement into a typical political party of the Muslim Brotherhood-type that are now in the process of taking control in the Arab world
- The Hamas leadership in Gaza prefers engagement with Cairo because the prospects of Muslim Brotherhood dominance are much more advanced in Egypt and the close vicinity to Gaza is promising for an eventual joining of forces to advance to the restoration of the worldwide Islamic Caliphate
- The problem is that both the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood cannot accept it as a militant movement that threatens the precarious security situation in Egypt and the delicate balance the Brotherhood wants to establish with the military in Cairo. It is not that the Brotherhood doesn’t care whether Hamas continues to be a “resistance” movement – to the contrary – but as long as they don’t do it from Cairo.
- So what can Hamas do? Abandoning the “resistance” is a non-starter; conducting resistance from Gaza is possible, but the leadership is not sure if they can sustain another Israeli blow of the scope of Israel’s 2009 operation. They may aspire to move the “resistance” to the West Bank – and this is exactly what they are currently trying to do – but here they face the IDF.
Read the rest here.
A previous post discussed an interview with Hamas leader in exile Khaled Meshaal in which he said that the group is “looking to focus it energies on popular resistance” without giving up the “right to armed struggle against Israel.” In addition, U.K. media is reporting that Hamas is considering whether to pull its exiled leadership out of Syria as the organisation reassesses its alliance with President Bashar al-Assad.
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. Anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli incitement in Hamas media is commonly reported.