Opinions differ regarding the possibility of an Egyptian attack on the Gaza Strip. There are those who believe that it is possible, while others rule it out. As the debate rages some people are calling on the resistance groups and Al-Qassam Brigades to exercise self-control while others believe that they should retaliate against anyone attacking the enclave, regardless of who they are.
At the moment, we cannot disregard the threats or interpret them as being far-fetched. We have to remember that the Egyptian government attacks its own people; it has killed thousands of Egyptians, carrying out massacres in Sinai, and destroyed Egyptian Rafah in order to establish a buffer zone on the border with Gaza. It has also carried out a series of attacks on Libya, claiming the lives of dozens of civilians.
We must exhaust all political efforts to prevent Al-Sisi attacking the Palestinians in Gaza and warn against its consequences. However, if such an attack happens, the response must be balanced, studied and direct.
Some wise individuals promote the advantages of refraining from retaliation, saying that we must focus on the Israeli occupation. Although this argument has some merit, it does not answer many important questions. What, for example, if the assault reaches the point of disarming the resistance groups and attacking their institutions? What sort of organisations could then recuperate sufficiently in order to carry out legitimate resistance against the Israeli occupation? What good would their discipline be at that point? What good will it be to block the media from using whatever retaliation the resistance groups can muster in order to distort their image after losing their assets and exhausting their forces?
Those who believe that remaining silent in the face of Al-Sisi’s aggression should be the tactic adopted, rather than retaliation, even if the attack destroys the resistance, should look at the reality in the West Bank and the disasters brought about by the absence of weapons and the liquidation of the resistance cadres there. The battle with the occupation requires weapons, not wishful thinking and theories about ending the occupation through other means.
In addition to this, Hamas must realise that Al-Sisi does not want to launch a limited strike against the movement; instead, it wants to destroy its military force. As such, any leniency will be interpreted as weakness and bring about more disasters. The Zionists and their stooges in the region are aware of Hamas’s strength, especially since it is the only party willing to face the Israeli occupation despite the actions taken against the movement by the criminals and tyrants in the Arab world.
The threats faced by Gaza cannot be dealt with through advice based on wishful thinking. The dangers that may result from an attack must be assessed properly because it is natural for the Israelis to use Egypt to hit Gaza; another offensive by Israel alone is likely to create more sympathy and support for Hamas across the free world, just as it did last summer. An attack by Egypt, however, will be interpreted by many conspirators as stemming from the government’s campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas as a Brotherhood offshoot. It is also natural for Hamas to be the target for such an attack, rather than the other movements and factions, and many of the nation’s traitors and villains are already promoting the justifications for it to take place. Moreover, attacking the spearhead will weaken all of its smaller formations and factions, especially since they benefit from Hamas’s support and the development of their weapons, equipment and expertise in Gaza. This would not have happened if Abbas’s Palestinian Authority governed the Strip. Once again, look at the situation in the West Bank and the anti-resistance campaign, which weakened Hamas and the other factions so that they would not pose a threat to Fatah.
It is also important for Hamas to be aware that complacency in retaliating against any attack will turn Gaza into a hotbed for ISIS sympathisers, especially if an Egyptian-Israeli attack destroys the current resistance groups. A failure to defend themselves will transform people from being oppressed to advocates of absolute violence; this must be considered seriously.
Dealing with those who target the resistance should be no different to the dealings with the Israeli occupation, which the resistance fights for the same reason. Good intentions have no place in the balance of power.
We have confidence in the Qassam Brigades and in the truth of their vision because the determination of their leaders and fighters was forged in the trenches of the resistance to Israeli aggression. Fighters often see what others can’t, just as they are more aware than others of the risk of destroying the resistance forces. Those who have tasted glory will not allow any force on earth to take it away from them, no matter what it takes.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.