Two new media reports suggest that Hamas is both trying to bolster its relations with Iran while at the same time shifting to importing fewer but higher quality weapons. According to a Tower.org report:
6/12/13 Hamas officials are scrambling to shore up ties with Iran, which have been strained by the role that Iran and its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah have been playing in bolstering the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria:
‘I cannot say the relationship with Iran was severed, but it was affected,’ Salah Bardawil, a spokesman for the Hamas movement in Gaza told the Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat, commenting on the recent intervention of Iran and its ally Hezbollah in fighting alongside the Assad regime in Syria. ‘Hamas is uninterested in declaring war on Iran or Hezbollah. Our only direct war is with Israel,’ the Hamas official said, refusing to divulge whether Iran’s funding for Hezbollah had stopped.
Hamas reoriented its political affiliation in February 2012, when it shuttered its headquarters in Damascus and dispersed its political leadership between Turkey, Qatar and Egypt. Hamas denied reports that its offices in Tehran were closed by the government over the abandonment of its Syrian ally.
In the meantime the Palestinian terror group has shifted to importing fewer but higher quality weapons into the Gaza Strip, which it controls and from within which it targets Israeli population centers:
June 10, 2013, The nature of the weapons flow into Gaza has changed in recent months, with an apparent dip in quantity and rise in quality, according to a senior officer in the IDF’s Southern Command, who addressed the situation in Gaza and the changes in Hamas since the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
‘There are two parameters — quantity and quality,’ said the senior officer. ‘The quantity appears to have dropped off, but the quality has risen.’
The officer’s comments, delivered recently to the Times of Israel during a tour of the northern part of Israel’s border with Gaza, shed some light on Hamas’s ability to rearm itself in its current position.
The Islamist organization has publicly broken away from Iran, which for years had funneled arms through Sudan north to the Sinai Peninsula and into Gaza. But it has found alternatives.
Ghazi Hamad, the Hamas deputy foreign minister, told The Telegraph in late May that relations with Iran were ‘bad’ and said that, ‘for supporting the Syrian revolution, we lost very much.’ He indicated that military aid from Iran had come to a full stop. ‘I cannot say there is military cooperation,’ he added.
This lack of military aid and the shift away from the radical Hezbollah-Damascus-Iran axis has rankled the more militant members of the organization. ‘Palestine will be liberated with arms and not with money,’ senior members of the military wing of the organization wrote last week to political leader Khaled Mashaal, according to a report in the al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper. The letter, which called for a rehabilitation of ties with Hezbollah and Iran, starkly criticized Hamas’s ties to Qatar and the Gulf State’s recent $400-million gift to Gaza.
Read the rest here. The Hamas charter says that it is “one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and soon after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the newly-opened border to review Hamas military formations. A Hamas journalist has acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and Hamas is known to be supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood. A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman revealed that a coalition of London-based Muslim groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, were behind the mass demonstrations staged to protest Israeli actions in the 2008 Gaza war and the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish affiliates were also intimately involved, along with the Turkish government, in the June 2010 Gaza flotilla that was involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces.
A post from yesterday discussed an article from a Hamas website titled “‘Jihad with Money.”
A current Hamas military web page celebrates the tenth anniversary of the bombing of bus 14A in Jerusalem.