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 – The military ouster of Muslim Brotherhood-backed Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi has cut off essential help to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, threatening its very existence, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Because Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi had reopened the tunnels into the Gaza Strip that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had closed.
The military has ordered those tunnels sealed up again now that it has ousted Morsi.
Morsi was one of the few friends Hamas had remaining because of its loss of friends and financial backers in Syria and Iran due to its backing the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and supporting the Syrian opposition.
For Hamas, a Sunni entity, its position became conflicted, having received help from Shiite-backed entities of the Syrian government and Iran. That changed with its policy decision to switch horses and back Morsi, who also has called for al-Assad’s removal.
At the time, Hamas had its headquarters in Damascus and had a constant financial flow from Iran, which backs al-Assad. Once the Hamas leadership declared its position on Syria, its backing and financial support began to wane until Morsi came to power in Egypt.
Now that the military has once again shut down the tunnels between Egypt and Gaza, said to be the life-blood of the Gaza Strip, Hamas is only able to get 20 percent of the fuel, food, construction materials and revenue from Egypt.
“The closing of tunnels, which were a main source of revenue for Hamas, has depleted Hamas’ coffers and caused further deterioration of the economic and humanitarian conditions in Gaza,” according to Lihi Ben Shitrit, an assistant professor at the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia.
The tunnel closures have cost Gaza some $230 million alone in July, raising the already high unemployment rate with the further loss of 20,000 jobs, according to Ala al-Rafati, Hamas’ Economic Minister.
Projects funded by Qatar and Turkey similarly have come to a halt due to the shortage of construction materials.
Meanwhile, Hamas’ popularity in Egypt has greatly fallen due to allegations it has been interfering in Egypt’s internal politics, as well as contributing to unrest in the Sinai. In turn, this has led to more negative feelings of Egyptians generally to Palestinians.
Since the coup, which the Obama administration denies has happened, the Egyptian military not only removed Morsi but now has jailed him, alleging that he was complicit with Hamas in a 2011 jailbreak in which a number of Egyptians died.
In Gaza itself, Hamas is facing a decline in domestic support. However, deteriorating economic conditions and further political isolation in the post-Morsi period will undoubtedly make Hamas’ popularity plummet, Shitrit said.
Morsi’s demise also could greatly affect the ongoing Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, for which he was the chief facilitator.
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