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Fruitless Demands - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Unfortunately, everything that undermines the Arab state, and even the concept of the Arab state, finds supporters amongst our people, otherwise how else can we read into the intense campaign being waged against Egypt for the Gaza tunnels, or the construction of the security wall?

so instead of some countries or intellectuals seeking to end Palestinian division, and put an end to the suffering of the people of Gaza in a genuine manner, we find that they are only asking for the tunnels [between Egypt and Gaza] to remain open, as if these tunnels are a solution. The truth is that these tunnels are a solution only for Hamas; while they represent the true suffering for the people of Gaza, for if [instead of this] Hamas sought to end Palestinian division, and began to establish the components of a Palestinian state in Gaza, the situation would be much better, and perhaps even at a similar level to the situation found in the West Bank.

However, rather than arriving at useful solutions for the people of Gaza, and therefore [useful] to the Palestinian cause, and the dream of the Palestinian state, we find that the desires of some in our Arab world is intent upon the opening of these tunnels, and this demand means that some want Hamas to have a way out from the hole that it finds itself in.

What do these Arabs have to say about Hamas currently participating in truce negotiations with Israel?

Is it reasonable that these Arabs should accept Hamas conducting truce negotiations with Israel and at the same time refusing to reconcile with Fatah and end the inter-Palestinian division?

Unfortunately some Arabs who are making fruitless demands, protest today for the tunnels or against the [security] wall, either to serve objectives outside of Arab interests, or simply because they want to protest against Egypt, regardless of the consequences.

The best example that there are Arabs amongst us who are making fruitless demands can be seen in the budget drawn up by Hamas for Gaza. This budget is evidence of the continuation of the intern-Palestinian division, as well as evidence that there are those who wish to strengthen this division. The budget approved by Hamas stands at 540 million dollars, 60 million of which Hamas says comes from taxes, and the rest from international aid.

The simple question here is; who are these countries that will grant such money to Hamas at the same time as this Palestinian division as this simply weakens the possibility of achieving a Palestinian state, and the position of the Palestinian negotiator?

It is true that the people of Gaza are suffering, but supporting Hamas financially will do nothing more than increase the suffering of the Palestinian cause as a whole. We all know that however much the Muslim Brotherhood for example, supports Hamas financially – in the same way that they support them in the media with regards to the tunnel issue – they do not have the capabilities to support Hamas with a figure up to 480 million dollars. Therefore the countries that support Hamas are the ones that want to prolong the suffering of the people of Gaza, as well as prolonging the inter-Palestinian division, and utilize Gaza and its suffering as a playing card in the hands of the Iranians. Therefore the talk about the Gaza tunnels or the [Egyptian] security fence, is not due to sadness for Gaza, as much as it is a genuine desire by some to open the Egyptian front that guarantees Hamas support from its founding organization (the Muslim Brotherhood) and also destroy the security of Egypt. The first benefit of this for Hamas and those standing behind it is the prolonging of the inter-Palestinian division, and also dragging Egypt as a whole into war will turn the whole region upside down.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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