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Hamas: Trick or Truce? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Hamas leadership delivered good news to the Palestinians, and to the people of Gaza specifically, as it announced that a happy ending was in sight with respect to Israel since a six-month truce between Hamas and Israel had been reached.

There is an obvious euphoria within the Hamas leadership. It is as if these leaders have declared the establishment of the Palestinian state whilst in reality the matter relates to a truce that may not last.

This truce emerged after strong advice and many warnings were given to the Hamas leadership against its fruitless tampering with the Palestinian cause and the Palestinians. Everybody knows that the “anti-tank” missiles will not solve anything and that using Palestinian suffering as a card to be played by foreign parties is unacceptable.

Khalid Mishal, the leader of Hamas, said, “A lasting truce would be beneficial to 1.5 million Palestinians who have suffered from the Israeli blockade. It will be a great relief for Israel if it also commits to the truce.” In response, one could only ask Mishal: who else undermined Palestinian unity, exposed the people of Gaza to all these crimes and humiliation and turned them into pawns in the hands of the Iranians and Syrians apart from yourselves?

Israel is concerned with conciliation as it has nothing to lose from it. But the question here is: can Hamas’ accomplishment with Israel be considered a truce or is it one of Hamas’ new tricks that strived for more talks and agreements? It became clear that Hamas does not care about Palestinian suffering inasmuch as it as wanted to accomplish gains for the movement itself.

Hamas wants to kill a number of birds with one stone. Mishal and his group want to improve ties with the Egyptians after the Rafah crossing crisis and to alleviate the uneasiness that exists amongst the second rank of Hamas leaders as a result of the deteriorating situation in Gaza after the Palestinian Authority was overthrown.

This is what Hamas is doing in line with conciliation, which Iran resorted to recently in order to buy time because of the international pressure that it is being subjected to and the difficulties that Tehran is facing in Iraq. Moreover, the Iranians are waiting until the picture becomes clearer with reference to the American presidential elections.

There is a Syrian-Israeli course that is being followed as the Israelis previously stated that Damascus must put an end to the support it lends Hamas. If the Syrians want to continue negotiations with Tel Aviv to guarantee France opening its gates to them and to ensure their attendance at the Mediterranean summit then there is no alternative but to appease Hamas.

Of course, Hamas is worried about Syrian-Israeli negotiations and there are indications that Hamas is looking to open new offices in the region ensuring that there is direct communication with Iran away from Syria.

The issue of Hamas offices and Hamas representatives in the region is one that causes confusion; how can some Arab countries allow there to be Hamas offices and Hamas representatives when they recognize the Palestinian Authority, which has an official presence in Arab states? Authorizing the presence of Hamas offices and representatives contributes to the collapse of Palestinian unity, strengthens Hamas and consolidates the existence of two heads of the Palestinians.

After all that, one can only question the sincerity and objectives of the truce especially that Hamas does not appear to be sincere about Palestinian conciliation and retracting the coup in the interest of the Palestinian cause itself in the same way that Hamas takes Iranian and Syrian interests into account!

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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