Captain's Quarters Blog

« Westphalia vs Utopia | Main | The Hammer Drops On Big Legal »

May 19, 2006
Hamas Under Fire And Losing Money

Hamas took two hits today in its bid to spread its terrorism throughout the Middle East. The combined effects of losing almost a million dollars in cash and the provoked hostility of the Jordanian government threaten to put the terrorist group into a political death spiral. First, the Fatah police have relieved a Hamas envoy of his cash as he attempted to enter Gaza:

Palestinian border police have confiscated more than $800,000 (£427,000) from a Hamas official trying to enter the Gaza Strip from Egypt. The Hamas-led government says it is hard to transfer cash to Palestinian territory as banks fear US sanctions for dealing with the militant group. ...

A European Union observer at the crossing identified the Hamas official as spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, a well known figure in the Arabic media.

"Sami Abu Zuhri did not declare the money. The Palestinian security and customs officials found it and confiscated it," the observer, Julio de la Guardia, said.

Travellers crossing through Rafah must declare all sums over $2,000 and explain the origin of the cash, Mr de la Guardia told reporters. The money was stashed inside Mr Abu Zuhri's belt and he has been detained for questioning, a Palestinian official was quoted saying by AFP news agency.

This sent Hamas terrorists hotfoot down to the Rafah terminal in an apparent attempt to salvage the cash, but it appears that the Fatah-dominated security apparatus has the money secured. After the clashes of the past twenty-four hours, one might guess that Hamas will attempt to retrieve it by force. After all, under the sanctions that Hamas' election and disavowal of previous agreements caused, they will not easily replace this much-needed resource. Now that Fatah knows how Hamas intends to fund their operations, they will find their interest in border security increased accordingly.

Nor did much good news come to Hamas from across the river in the Hashemite Kingdom. Jordan accused Hamas of participation in a conspiracy between Syria, Iran, and Lebanon to create an Islamist "crescent" designed to overthrow moderate Muslim states with friendly relations to the US. King Abdullah has unleashed its security forces against Hamas within its borders after the discovery of a significant arms cache last month:

Jordan said it arrested more than 20 Hamas members since the cache was uncovered April 18 and accused them of being in the "final phase" of plotting armed attacks on Jordanian institutions and officials. Hamas has denied the allegations.

Although Syria and Iran were not directly implicated in the Hamas plot, their names kept surfacing as the investigation unfolded.

Three Hamas activists said in televised confessions last week that they acted upon orders from exiled Hamas leaders in Syria, where they said the weapons had come from.

Government spokesman Nasser Judeh also accused Hamas of recruiting members in Jordan and the Palestinian territories and seeking to send them for training on militant tactics in Syria and Iran.

The situation has deteriorated so much that Teheran had to send a special envoy to smooth over the disruption in relations, a visit that Jordan claimed resulted in a "clear appreciation" for Jordanian security from Iran. Nevertheless, it underscores the divisive nature of Hamas even in the Arabic nations themselves. With Hamas covertly caching arms in neighboring countries, these nations have little reason to support the terrorist group and increasingly urgent reasons to join a Western freeze-out of the Palestinians as long as Hamas continues to govern them.

So now Hamas is not only broke, not only determined to provoke a civil war to grab all of the power within the proto-state, but also plotting to expand that war outside of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Even if they suddenly recognized Israel's right to exist, it would be hard to make any kind of deal with such a government. The Palestinians who voted them into office may have made an even worse choice than first thought.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 19, 2006 6:30 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is


Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!