The new Hamas: challenges of resistance

By: Ibrahim al-Amin

Al Akhbar

The great praise being voiced for the steadfastness of the people and resistance in Gaza cannot blind us to some facts and questions related to the latest developments. The cease-fire announced yesterday – though necessary to halt the Israeli killing-machine – has only added to these complex questions.

There is a dense layer of smoke in the air concealing signs that are cause for concern for the future of the Palestinian cause. At best, they invite vigilance and raise questions about the resistance’s strategy in the aftermath of this victory.

In yesterday’s edition of Yedioth Ahronoth, senior commentator Nahum Barnea had the following to say about the cease-fire: “The US administration is trying to use the understanding to strengthen the Sunni axis in the Arab world against the Shia axis. The enemy is Shia Iran and Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah and Syria. The Sunni alliance consists of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Palestinian Authority, and the Gulf emirates, with Jordan on the margins. Hamas will have to choose between Iran and Egypt. If Iran could offer missiles and money, Egypt will offer immunity from Israeli attack, sovereignty over Gaza, and an open door to the world.”

The Israelis speak excitedly of their confidence that Egypt can be enlisted in such a scheme. They are counting heavily on financial assistance from the Egyptian government being linked to its pursuit of policies that serve the pro-accommodation camp. In the US, there is also concern to win over what it calls the “moderates” in the Sunni majority countries’ Islamist movements.

There is also impatience in the US and Israel to push things further – to get the resistance in Palestine to break off its relationship with Iran and, by extension, Syria and Hezbollah. The aim would be to employ Hamas’ popular legitimacy and record of struggle in the confrontation with the opposing camp, seeing as it is the involvement of the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis in resisting US and Israeli occupation that gives it sway in the wider Arab and Islamic worlds.

Are forecasts like these well-founded?
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