Fiamma Nirenstein

Hamas is waging its salafi struggle for the Middle East

Hamas may boast of having killed two Israeli soldiers, Amos Greenberg and Adar Bersana, yesterday after emerging from a tunnel in the Ein Ha-Shlosha kibbutz, where we happened to be one day before. Amos and Adar defended the population with their lives, and killed one terrorist. Three soldiers were wounded in the clash, plus another 17 were hit during the battles in Gaza. The Palestinians have had fifty or so wounded and several killed. As the evening draws in, the missiles fired at Israel hit everywhere. The war raging, the IDF has been able to destroy 23 tunnels created to stow weapons and make incursions.

The Ein Ha-Shlosha event saw thousands of citizens in the Eshkol region locked in their houses for hours. In the town of Dimona, a rocket hit a family of Israeli Bedouin citizens, killing a man and seriously injuring a three month child, a woman and another child. The army has already achieved significant results, but it is having to act but it must fight on a land full of missiles and terrorist bases located in houses, mosques, and schools. The fact that there have been approximately 1,500 rockets fired, and about 2,300 military targets in eleven days, reveals the measure of the capillarity of a war which, unfortunately, has reaped also the lives of children. The Palestinians of the Gaza Strip are exhausted, prisoners as they are of the Islamic fundamentalist regime that uses them as human shields; 50 thousand have sought refuge with UNRWA, but it is hard to imagine a popular uprising, for the penalty would be death.

Despite the thirst and hunger, being reduced and isolated, having had its strategic facilities hit, Hamas is seeking a result that can show that the jihadist deployment wins, commencing with the defeat of the Zionist enemy. Although Hamas spokesman Abu Marzouk has stated that in the end Egypt’s proposal will have to be considered, Mohammed Deif, the tough military chief, is pushing for an agreement mediated only by his side, the Muslim Brotherhood, which means above all by Qatar, which is expected to fund Hamas, and by Erdogan, the Turkish President who preaches that Israel is “the number one murderer of children.”

The coming of Ban Ki-moon to the area, and Kerry’s expected arrival do not promise much innovation. The deployment of the Muslim Brotherhood is clearly opposed to the Egyptian, since Sisi obtained his power after the expulsion of Mursi, and it is difficult to mediate between two who hate each other as only in Middle East can happen. When, in 2011, an armed raid at the prison where Mursi was held took place, Egypt identified among the culprits members of Hamas, and today the name of the person responsible for that raid has been identified as the organization Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, guilty for all the attacks against the Minister of the Interior, the Security Services, Egyptian soldiers and behind the downing of a helicopter in the Egyptian Sinai. To block Hamas’ movements, Sisi has destroyed dozens of tunnels that lead from Gaza to Egypt. Ansar Bayt al Maqdis is the military wing of the Brotherhood, and this is certainly known by Deif.

It is difficult to associate these activities to the usual/common idea of ​​the “Palestinian cause”. Hamas now belongs to that part of the Islamist line that promotes a universal caliphate, and it is intertwined with the armed movement that is sweeping through Iraq and Syria, which it has covered with blood. In June, a pro-ISIS demonstration – ISIS is the organization that yesterday killed 27 people in Baghdad – took place in Gaza. The Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm reported the news of the arrest of 15 terrorists; having received training in Gaza, had tried to enter Egypt from the Sinai. On a Youtube video, terrorists in Gaza promised fidelity to ISIS.

Even Al Qaeda uses Gaza as a base for action: in a video shot in Gaza, they announce their war against “infidels, traitors, and crusaders”. Al Qaeda officially announced its presence in Gaza in February this year, where they have a base, and according to sources, conduct their training of Jaysh al Ummah, Daesh, Isis, and other fundamentalists groups.

The Palestinian number one of Al Qaeda, Nabil Abu Okal, was arrested at the entrance to Gaza in 2000, sent from Afghanistan to organize the group. Richard Reid, who tried to blow up an American Airlines plane with shoes filled with explosives, had had contacts with the Gaza based terrorists too. Yusuf Muhammed Hanif, the British suicide bomber who blew himself up in a bar in Tel Aviv, was recruited in London, and sent to Damascus to continue onto Gaza, where he received his mission from a local military commander. Many other episodes indicate the public enemy of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, of all moderate victims, and of course, of Israel.

Abu Mazen, predestined leader of the moderate front, went to Turkey to block Erdogan’s attempts to boycott peace. But there are three obstacles: the obstinacy of the extremist deployment/part; the fact that Al Sisi, more than seeking peace, would like Israel to destroy their common enemy, Hamas. And finally, a couple of months ago, Abu Mazen himself formed a coalition government with Hamas. And he should now become the peace broker of the Palestinian world: that’s a difficult task.

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.