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The Earthquake of Gaza - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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What has happened in Gaza and the emergence of the Islamic principality of Hamas can only be described as earth-shattering. Its impact will be felt by everyone, not only Palestinian citizens. It will influence the [Palestinian] issue itself, the dream of a Palestinian state as well as Arab countries and nations. The impact of the emergence of the Islamic Principality upon our Arab world will not be like the emergence of the Taliban, rather it will be more dangerous as it will affect Arab security.

Instead of a Palestinian state, we have returned to square one as now we have statelets since Gaza has been isolated from the West Bank. This means that the dream of a Palestinian state has been destroyed, not just today or this year but perhaps for an entire generation. The dream of a Palestinian state has become inconceivable.

As for the security issue, or rather the danger issue, it is that Hamas deemed its victory over Fatah as the second liberation. It believes that the destruction of buildings affiliated to the legitimate authority means ultimately that we have entered the second stage of liberation in the Arab world. It is common knowledge that Islamic movements do not believe in the concept of the state fundamentally and that their battles with Arab regimes are longstanding. These battles may have alleviated for now not due to political maturity but because of the violent nature of “Al Qaeda” and the war on terror.

This means that the Hamas principality would provide the spiritual inspiration for Islamic groups and the point of assembly for any party that seeks armed action. Hamas will consider any criticism against it treason and favoritism towards Israel after all Hamas militants were the ones to name Fatah members “infidels”, “traitors” and “lackeys”. News agencies broadcast images to us of Hamas militants defaming and trampling on pictures of Yasser Arafat and Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas]. This indicates that we could fall into a major ideological split over the Palestinian cause and who should be entitled with taking on the issue. By making the issue one about religion, as what is happening today, the next stage is guaranteed to be difficult and dangerous for the entire region.

Another important point that should be looked at is the eagerness of Hamas militants who we saw fight against the internationally-backed legitimate authority, which highlights that while Hamas and its leadership called for help due to lack of funding; they were preparing themselves with arms and supplies. This means that there are those who fund Hamas incessantly since it was more prepared than the legitimate authority itself. Undoubtedly, the financier is Iran.

Today, no one in our region has control over Hamas except Iran, the financial sponsor, and Syria, where Khaled Meshaal [the political chief of Hamas] lives. This means that this entangled web leads back to two states, namely Syria and Iran.

After all this, we can safely say that the biggest loser will be the Palestinian cause and the disappearance of the dream of a Palestinian state for an entire generation at best. We must be ready for the upcoming earthquake in our Arab world, intellectually, militarily and politically.

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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