The incendiary balloons phenomenon from Gaza to the Israeli south resumed lately and this needs explanation.

There are several levels to understand this – Hamas is pressuring to guarantee the continuation of the Qatari aid and to revive the old rescue plans for Gaza that were put on hold because of the Corona.

Israel retaliate on the balloon launches in closing the Erez border point and other measures that may escalate the situation, although both sides are eager to keep the situation far from major blowout.

But, in addition to the “regular” causes of deterioration, here we are also the elections for the Political bureau of Hamas based in Qatar.

In this regards we have to make the clear distinction between the Politburo in Qatar the Shura in Gaza. The Gaza leadership elected Yahya Sinwar as the head of the Shura besides his position as the head of the military wing. The Gaza leadership is reluctant to take orders from the “outside” leadership and we can determine that while the Gaza Shura is the government of Gaza, the Politburo is representing the Palestinian wing of Moslem Brothers.

Hence we may say that the doubts in Gaza about the Qatar continuation of the aid are not so much about the continuation per se, but about the conditions from the part of Qatar to accept the hegemony of the Politburo on the Shura.

In practical terms is means that Gaza will open its gates wide to Turkey, the main ally of Qatar in leading the international Moslem Brothers movement.

This is of course unacceptable to Egypt that confronts Turkey in Libya.

According to sources in Ramallah these are the lines of groupings inside Hamas

  1. Yahya Sinwar is the leader of Gaza. He is both the head of the Shura and the responsible for the military wing. This dual responsibility splits his loyalties. His political duties oblige him to be the man of Egypt in Gaza, but in order to preserve the loyalties of the cadres he must be loyal to Iran either. He will not accept Turkey to enter. As far as he is concerned the Qatari aid is only to keep the border with Israel under control. No further.
  2. Ismail Haniyya is the head of the Politburo in Qatar, he is close to Iran, that’s why Qatar wants to remove him from this position and bring back, Khaled Mash’al who together with Saleh Aruri are representing the Moslem Brothers and hence the Turkish interests. They are not welcome in Gaza and their main surge now is to penetrate the West Bank though Jibril Rajub.  

The question now is who will be elected for the Politburo and what Haniyya is going to do once he is deposed. Another question – let’s suppose that Mash’al is back – will Qatar try to employ its leverage on Gaza to have Sinwar accept its leadership? No way he will accept him.

So, the phenomenon of the incendiary balloons is linked not only with bilateral relations between Hamas and Israel, but also to what extent Gaza will accept the leadership of Qatar.   

Not only the situation in Gaza is complicated – but also in the  West Bank.

There is growing tensions in the North between the formal forces of the PA and informal forces of the Tanzim.

According the PA sources, in Jenin area the supporters of Dahlan have the upper hand while in Nablus, they split between Dahlan’s personnel and Mahmud al-Alul, no. 2 in Fatah.

In Nablus the PA security organ killed the head of the Tanzim, and the Tanzim claims that it was not by mistake but deliberate.

A week after, a Tanzim guy from Jenin, killed the brother of the PA senior Hussein a-Sheikh in a way that was understood in the West Bank as an act of revenge of the killing of the Tanzim head in Nablus.