Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
WASHINGTON – Faced with money trouble due to its lack of support for the al-Assad regime and Iran’s subsequent cut in financial support, the Gaza Strip’s Hamas is banking on Sunni support. But questions remain, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Hamas, a resistance arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, has determined that it could not continue supporting Syria and jeopardize its backing for the Sunni opposition which includes the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. As a consequence, the Hamas leaders, who had lived in Damascus for years, pulled out, moved to Jordan and saw their $50 million a month from Iran dwindle to a trickle.
Hamas hoped to jump on the Arab Spring bandwagon but the actions in the other Arab countries took priority over that of Hamas. It now is looking to Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey for support, but those nations want to keep Hamas restricted to the Gaza Strip.
While these countries voice support for a Palestinian state, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia remain concerned that a Palestinian entity could threaten their own security, especially with an emboldened Muslim Brotherhood.
The Egyptian military, for example, remains concerned that Hamas could create a crisis between Egypt and Israel, thereby undermining the military’s authority in the country. In Jordan, where a majority of the population is Palestinian, the government is facing a similarly emboldened Muslim Brotherhood and doesn’t want the Palestinian population incited to violence.
Similarly in Saudi Arabia, there is no love lost between the royal family and those who want a Palestinian militancy. None of these countries wants to be held accountable should they offer outright support and financing for Hamas, only to have the militant group undertake violent activities for which they then could be confronted by the United States or Israel.
Analysts, however, don’t believe that Hamas will sever relations with Iran entirely, since it isn’t certain where it will find alternative funding. In an effort to increase its relationship with the Sunni leadership of the Arab countries, Hamas is having its top leadership move to Jordan and Egypt.
At the same time, this will make it more difficult for them to coordinate and remain relevant, placing the leadership in the position of determining whether it will conform to what these Arab states want.
The other militant Palestinian group, the PIJ, or Palestinian Islamic Jihad, while smaller than Hamas, is regarded as more militant. It is expected to remain close to Iran on which it similarly depends for financial and logistical support.
It also remains close to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon. While it is based in Damascus, it has its main presence in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Unlike Hamas, which seeks to become more political, the PIJ remains committed to its militancy, according to analysts. It openly rejects a close relationship with the Arab states for what the PIJ sees as their collusion with Israel.
Keep in touch with the most important breaking news stories about critical developments around the globe with Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium, online intelligence news source edited and published by the founder of WND.