GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Influential Egyptian Muslim theologian Yususf al-Qaradawi on Friday stressed the necessity that the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip should be open completely. During a meeting with the premier of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar, al-Qaradawi said, “It is unusual that closure of the Rafah crossing continues barring movement of people and goods.” He added that the Gaza Strip expected support from the Arab and Islamic nations. Al-Qaradaqwi applauded the emir of Qatar, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, for his support to Palestine and to Gaza. “In light of what the triumphant revolutions in the Arab world achieved, I can assert that Palestine will achieve victory because Palestine is rightness and rightness always wins, while occupation is falseness and falseness will eventually vanish.” For his part, Haniyeh applauded Qatar and Sheikh Al Thani for the support to Palestine and the Palestinian cause. He highlighted that the emir of Qatar responded positively to calls for reconstructing the war-torn Gaza Strip.
Haniyeh’s visit to Qatar is part of a tour of Iran and the Gulf States discussed in an earlier post. According to Kuwaiti media, he is currently in Kuwait meeting with leaders there. A series of earlier posts covered Haniyeh’s tour of Egypt, Tunisia, and other countries while another post while MEMRI has posted an article titled “Isma’il Haniya’s First Regional Tour Transforms Him From Hamas PM in Gaza to Regional Palestinian Leader.”
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.
Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements.