Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Hamas in front of survival challenge
The deposition of Moslem Brothers rule in Egypt put Hamas in a very grave challenge that threatens its very survival-ability. After ceasing getting the Iranian aid as a result of the heavy Iranian investment in Syria, the Egyptian army for some now is destroying the tunnels that link the Gaza economy with Egypt and is a principal source of income for Gaza government through taxes.
The decision of the Egyptian army to launch a massive campaign against the tunnels came after recognition in the reality that those tunnels are a serious breach in Egypt national security.
Senior Fatah sources told us in Ramallah that Hamas has two options now: either to revise its refusal to reconcile with Fatah or to deepen its old policies and tighten their cooperation with Moslem Brothers in their campaign to restore their rule in Egypt. They did not rule out inflaming the Gaza borders with Israel in order to prove to the Egyptians that the Army is collaborator with Israel against the Palestinians. We do not share this hypothesis because Hamas in its current extremely weak position cannot afford this confrontation with IDF.
What is more plausible to evaluate is that Hamas may help the jihadist groups in Sinai that are connected with Moslem Brothers either in the campaign inside Egypt or to attack Israel from Sinai in order to complicate the security cooperation between Israel and the Egyptian army.
According to Fatah sources in Ramallah who are familiar with the interconnections between Hamas and the jihadist groups in Sinai the practical beginning of the cooperation between Gaza and Sinai was manifested in the 2003 jihadist attacks on Taba tourist resort that was hosting—and still – many Israelis.
Mubarak regime made a grave mistake in arresting thousands of suspects and exposed them to the Qaeda indoctrination in the prisons. As a result al-Qaeda recruited 2000 personnel for the organization in Sinai. The leading group of "Ansar a-Sharia" is based on these prison graduates. In Sinai they found the Gaza based "Tanzim Jund Allah" that is an offspring of Tanzim Fatah in Gaza that mutated to become Salafist Jihadi group that spread from Gaza into Sinai. Other jihadi organizations that are a mixture of local Bedouin and Gaza jihadists are: "Takfir and Jihad", "Salafiya Mujahida".
The victory of Moslem Brothers in Egyptian elections began a new phase – according to Fatah's Ramallah sources. According to them the leading group in Egyptian Moslem Brothers is the "Qutbi trend" that believe in the radical teaching of Sayyed Qutub from the founding generation of Moslem Brothers that preached to jihad.
The Supreme Guide, Muhammad Bdei', is leading this radical trend but the more important name in this context—according to Fatah sources – is Khairat a-Shater, Bdei' deputy that was disqualified of running to president before Mursi was promoted to this position by Moslem Brothers. A-Shater, a tycoon, organized all the several groups in Sinai together with the pro-Iranian Qassam brigades of Hamas and Hizbullah elements in Sinai in what was called "the Moslem Brothers secret apparatus". It was meant to provide Moslem Brothers a military wing. Hamas played important role in teaching Moslem Brothers their lessons of military work as until now the Moslem Brothers where pure political party far from the "muqawama spirit" of Hamas.
In the latest developments in Cairo the Fatah sources identified Hamas tactics implemented by Moslem Brothers- for example the "massacre" in front of the "Republican Guards" in Cairo that resembled Palestinian intifada tactics: to bring beforehand TV teams and then perform a provocation that will lead to blood shedding photographed by TVs- usually al-Jazeera in order to oil an intifada and trigger international intervention against the army. They were not surprised that Al-Jazeera was quick to spread the call for new intifada.
The army discovered in very early stage the interconnections between Gaza and Sinai and was very concerned with the involvement of Khairat a-Shater in uniting all these groups into the Secret Apparatus. The army tried to launch a wide attack on those groups but was stopped byu Mursi who hurried to Sinai in order to meet with them as if to try and politically convene them to dismantle, but as a matter of fact wanted to topple the military campaign against them. He also stopped the army of launching a serious campaign against the tunnels that is now about to be resumed full force.
Also Rafah crossing is going to suffer. Today, in the advent of Ramadan Rafah crossing was about to re-open but as a result of the new attacks in Sinai – it will be open only for those who want to enter Gaza and not for those who want to enter Egypt.
Gaza is facing worsening of oil supplies as a result of the destruction already inflicted on the tunnels, electricity shortage is already fact of life and water supply and sewage collapse are close- will this portend the collapse of Hamas?
Sum up: the deposition of Mursi put Hamas in a siege- the Egyptian army is about to launch a campaign on the tunnels and limit the work to Rafah crossing. Hamas on its part is going to tighten its cooperation with Moslem Brothers in order to bring them back to power. Fatah's hopes that this will lead Hamas to resume reconciliation are not realistic. This might be the line of Khaled Mash'al but he has no influence on the decision makers in Gaza.