The Fruit of Hamas' Labor..
I agree that it changed things, but in the opposite direction. Hamas
probably gained the Syrians and Iranians but lost the Egyptians, who
are the more important, because it complicated their internal and
external calculations and subjected Egypt to an uncalculated danger.
To clarify my viewpoint, I will place it within the context of
comparison. The Palestinians are banned from firing from Lebanon under
an international watch and Lebanese guards backed by a popular Lebanese
consensus. The Palestinians are also banned from firing a single bullet
from Syria on Israel. They are banned from doing the same thing from
these three countries openly ban the Palestinian factions from
embroiling them in confrontations with Israel, then Egypt is expected
to feel the same danger. Gaza, in its contemporary history and adjacent
geographical location, is reckoned to be important for Egypt and its
security. The Israelis complain that Egypt is playing with fire by its
covert support for Hamas.
If this is true, then why?
Egypt most certainly does not agree with many of Hamas 's actions yet
believes that the movement is an important part of the Palestinian
equation which should not be ignored and wants good relationship with
it in order to solve the multidimensional Palestinian problem.
The Israelis believe that Cairo backs Hamas, despite its suspicions of
the Muslim Brotherhood [MB] to which the movement belongs, in order to
pressure Israel constantly and hold the threads of the game. In reply
to Cairo, unofficial warnings came from Tel Aviv advocating settling
some Palestinians in Sinai, similar to the Palestinian camps in Syria,
Lebanon, and Jordan. It is not difficult for us to understand Israel's
desire to export the problem to Egypt because it wants the latter to be
a party in the crisis and not just in the solution.
But it is the dangerous actions of Hamas that are hard to justify. With
its futile rockets, the movement made Israel blockade Gaza and turn it
into a disaster area and pushed the population toward the Egyptian
borders for the same purpose. Practically, Hamas and Israel conspired
against Egypt for totally different reasons. I believe that the
disaster will be repeated. Hamas will bombard, Israel will attack, the
Palestinians will flee toward Egypt, and the crisis becomes bigger. As
it happened in Lebanon and Jordan, Egypt will be forced to intervene
and I expect it to restore the Palestinian Authority [PA] to Gaza.
Hamas must remember that, as an MB movement, it would not have governed
anywhere else in the Arab world were it not for the PA which accepted
it in order to unite the Palestinian rank. The irony is that Hamas
split the rank and expelled Fatah. Once again, Hamas designed the
recent crisis so as to impose its calculations on Egypt and everyone
without making any concession. It rejects the demands of the PA in
Ramallah, refuses to hold early elections, wants to bombard Israel, and
at the same time cries over the blockade and asks the Egyptians to pay
The People are catching on.