web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Hamas Closes 2013 with a Whimper

Back in January 2013, Osama Hamdan (C), member of the Political Bureau of Hamas arrived without a problem in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah through the border crossing with Egypt. Hamas now finds the new regime in Egypt is not nearly as easy to deal with.

Back in January 2013, Osama Hamdan (C), member of the Political Bureau of Hamas arrived without a problem in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah through the border crossing with Egypt. Hamas now finds the new regime in Egypt is not nearly as easy to deal with.
Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90

Israel ended 2013 in much the same way as previous years: facing a surge of terrorist activity from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. On Dec. 24, Salah Shukri Abu Latyef, a 22-year-old Israeli Defense Ministry worker who was repairing the border fence with Gaza, was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper. Abu Latyef’s murder was followed by a series of rocket attacks that provoked response strikes from the Israeli military – which deemed that the assault directly threatened the 13,500 Israelis living in the immediate vicinity – on weapons manufacturing facilities in Gaza.

Israel’s explanation of its response was also little different from previous years. “The manufacturing of rockets in Gaza has no other purpose except to target Israel and its sovereignty, putting thousands of lives at risk,” said IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. Exactly three years after the so-called Arab Spring descended on the region, bringing both the promise of political change and the threat of even deadlier violence from jihadi groups, the fundamental menace that Hamas represents has remained unaffected by these broader developments. Israel is still the Islamist group’s eternal enemy, and its aim of destroying the Jewish state remains sacred.

But what has been profoundly altered is Hamas’s room for maneuver. Had this latest sequence of events unfolded five years ago – not just the murder of Abu Latyef and the rocket attacks, but the bomb explosion on a bus in the city of Bat Yam moments after the passengers were fortunately evacuated – it’s quite conceivable we would have seen a military reaction on the part of Israel stretching well into January.

Quite simply, Hamas does not enjoy that kind of clout anymore. Over the past 12 months the fortunes of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas that loudly proclaims “Islam is the Solution” have gone from a peak to a trough in a dizzyingly short space of time. In Tunisia, the governing Islamist Ennahda party was chastened by a coalition of secularist groups and is currently in the final stages of handing over to a caretaker government. And in Egypt, where the Brotherhood was first formed in the late 1920s, the regime of Mohamed Morsi that came to power in 2012 was unseated by the Egyptian military, following angry demonstrations against the Brotherhood that, left unchecked, might have resulted in a nasty civil war.

In these conditions, Hamas is just about clinging on to power in Gaza. But all the signs are that Gaza’s Palestinian residents are increasingly fed up with Islamist rule. Recently, a fuel crisis triggered by Egypt’s destruction of tunnels from Sinai into Gaza that had been used for smuggling, as well as a tax hike on fuel prices engineered by the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, compelled Hamas to cancel the celebrations around the 26th anniversary of its formation.

And when leading Palestinians gathered for a conference on political unity in the Qatari capital of Doha, the proceedings merely underlined their deepest differences. Fatah, reported the Saudi Gazette, has been left “with a feeling of impasse,” while Hamas “is hardly more ebullient.”

Continued the Gazette, “The lack of a shared vision – the Islamic militant group depends on force and Fatah continues to negotiate – only deepens the sense of fragmentation, said participants.”

All this suggests that a killer blow to Hamas might be dealt as early as 2014 – and that it will emanate not from Israel but from Egypt. One IDF officer has even spoken of an Egyptian “strategic decision to paralyze Hamas.”

Such a decision would certainly be in keeping with Egypt’s strategy toward the Muslim Brotherhood at home, along with its determination to defeat the jihadi fighters who have gathered in Sinai. Following the recent suicide bombing against a security compound in Mansoura, which left 16 people dead and more than 100 wounded, Cairo authorities banned the Brotherhood by declaring it a “terrorist organization.” Freedom and Justice, the Brotherhood’s Orwellian-sounding newspaper, has been shut down, and a many social and welfare organizations associated with the organization have had their bank accounts frozen.

About the Author: Ben Cohen is the Shillman Analyst for JNS.org and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Haaretz, and other publications. His book “Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Century Antisemitism” (Edition Critic, 2014), is available through Amazon.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Hamas Closes 2013 with a Whimper”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Eleven people were injured by a motorist who plowed into a crowd in southern France. The driver yelled "Allahu Akbar" as he attacked. Dec. 21, 2014
French Driver Shouting “Allahu Akbar” Plows into Crowd
Latest Indepth Stories
Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

President Shimon Peres receives the Congrssional Gold Medal.

“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”

KidSport-Everybody-Is-A-Winner1

“D-e-t-e-r-m-i-n-a-t-i-o-n!”

This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

If the UN Grants national recognition to Palestine, why stop there? Tibet, Chechnya, Basque…

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

More Articles from Ben Cohen
Ben Cohen

The coalition the US has assembled to fight ISIS is based on an immediate coincidence of interest.

Israel Palestine Flag

A growing chorus of influential voices is arguing that Israel needs to finish the job in Gaza.

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

As of this moment, the Kurds have little reason to hold back from declaring independence.

While Jews are just one percent of the French population, 40 percent of French racist assaults target Jews.

Even if Egyptian pressure lead to the collapse of Hamas, Gaza’s problems are unlikely to be solved overnight.

This new mood among Christian Arabs has worried the communists and Arab nationalist.

In this drama, J Street, much like other left-wing groups, is an enthusiastic cheerleader, nothing more.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/hamas-closes-2013-with-a-whimper/2014/01/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: