“This is what the LORD says: ‘For three sins of Gaza, even for four, I will not relent. Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom.'” (Amos 1:6)
On Wednesday, co-founder of Hamas Mahmoud Zahar called for Palestinian military groups throughout Lebanon and Syria who are loyal to Hamas, to attack Israel.
Hamas broke its friendship with Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist organization and the Syrian regime in 2011 when it failed to support President Bashar Assad, the Syrian head. However, following a recent alleged Israeli strike on a Hezbollah convoy in Syria, the situation has changed.
Following the attack, the Hezbollah affiliated Al-Manar TV reported that the Gaza-based Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif, sent a letter of condolence to Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, expressing sorrow at their loss. (JPost)
“All of the forces of resistance must band together and unite against the Zionist enemy and its accomplices,” wrote Deif in the letter.
Hamas continues to invest it resources in the next battle with Israel even while children are dying from exposure and families struggle to survive amid the rubble created in last summer’s war. (Washington Post)
In Egypt, the situation has grown difficult for Hamas where a private individual brought charges against its military wing the Al-Qassam Brigades, accusing it of being involved in the financing of terrorist attacks inside Egypt and of destabilizing the country.
The court was convinced by the plaintiff’s case charging that Hamas has swayed from its original intent of attacking Israel and is now using its forces against Egyptian security. In their verdict, the court labeled the Al-Qassam Brigades as a “terrorist element.”
This represents the first time that an Arab country is challenging the view that any so-called “resistance” organization fighting Israel is entirely in the Arab interest. In this case, the “sanctity” of the fight against Israel does not justify Hamas turning its guns against Egypt.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is making it clear that the Palestinian struggle only has legitimacy to the extent that it does not become a threat to Egypt’s security.
Those Arab countries that might wish to provide aid to the Gaza Strip or Hamas are now faced with the realization that Egypt may consider such assistance as support for a terrorist organization. (HaAretz)
Mahmoud Zahar denied any connection to groups in Egypt, where Hamas has also been declared a terrorist organization and condemned for its attacks on military personnel in the Sinai.
On its Facebook page, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the court’s decision was only aiding the Israeli occupation. (Ahram)
Meanwhile, the Egyptian media, which is enjoying greater freedom than in the past, is questioning why el-Sissi’s military is unable to contain Hamas. In the 18 months since the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood from government, another terrorist organization—Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a branch of the Islamic State (ISIS)—has vastly expanded their operations in the Sinai Peninsula and proven themselves very effective.
Attacks are not confined within the “Sinai Province,” as the terrorist group has renamed it. Throughout Egypt, police and army stations as well as government buildings, power lines and other strategic facilities are being targeted with explosive devices. Recently, 30 (mostly security personnel) were killed in two North Sinai attacks, increasing widespread fear among the people. (JPost)
Reuters reports the true intent of the Islamists in the Sinai is to create a caliphate or Islamist state, in Egypt. A militant leader of the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group told a reporter, “We execute the wishes of God. We will create an Islamic state in Egypt.”