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May 25, 2006
Hamas Losing Arab Support?

Accoridng to the Washington Times, Hamas has damaged relations with key states in the Middle East, a development that could mean difficulties in their offensive against Fatah and their desired war on Israel. Jordan and Egypt have both determined that Hamas has masterminded plots against them, and now seek to curtail their operations:

Two recent events deserve considerably more attention then they have been receiving thus far: Jordan's announcement last month that it had uncovered a Syrian-backed Hamas plot to attack the kingdom; and Egypt's announcement on Tuesday that the terrorists who carried out the April 24 bombings that killed 24 people in Dahab, a Sinai resort town trained for the operation in Gaza.

Hamas' most serious problem is with Jordan, where security forces last month arrested 20 of its members. Amman accuses Hamas of smuggling detonators, rocket launchers and explosives into the country from Syria, and of attempting to recruit Jordanians to send to Iran and Syria for "military training." Authorities said they believe that Hamas was planning attacks against unspecified targets in Jordan. "The foiled plots by Hamas elements against officials and installations in Jordan were in the final stages of execution," Jordanian government spokesman Nasser Joudeh said. "Interrogations of suspects proved that they received instructions from a Hamas leader...who is now in Syria." ...

Egypt has yet to say officially which Palestinian organization in Gaza was to blame for the Dahab attacks, but officials speaking on background have accused Hamas and a Hamas-linked group called the Popular Resistance Committees of providing shelter for one of the planners. Egypt has asked the Palestinian Authority to arrest this person.

In a time when the Palestinians already have isolated themselves from the West by electing terrorists to government, one would expect the terrorists to choose their battles more carefully. After all, without funding from the West, they need to find revenue from somewhere, and the Arab nations would be the only market for their brand of hatred. They may have considered Jordan and Egypt more palatable targets for other Arab and Muslim nations, especially Iran, since both have diplomatic relations with Israel. However, both also have influence in the banking industry, and with the moratorium on transfers through banks with terrorist customers (and with their immediate proximity to the West Bank and Gaza, respectively), one might have thought that Hamas would focus more on their civil war with Fatah instead of attacking fellow Arabs.

Egypt and Jordan have a more clear-eyed view than the New York Times, apparently (see below). Jordan has extensive experience with the traitorous nature of Palestinian terrorists, having hosted the PLO until 1971 when Yasser Arafat tried undermining the Jordanian monarchy. The Egyptians have been stung a number of times by Islamist suicide bombers and want nothing less than to see an Islamist group take political and military control of territory on its border. The influence of both nations in the Arab world is not negligible, and Hamas has made a serious mistake in alienating them.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 25, 2006 5:47 AM

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With Hamas at the helm, Palestine will never recognize Israel, because if it did, the only answer would be suicide. Maybe this is why we’re seeing the war between Hamas and Fatah turn so bloody. ... [Read More]

Tracked on May 25, 2006 8:31 AM


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