Since the outbreak of the Gulf crisis, malicious media campaigns have emerged that attempted to accuse the Islamist resistance movement Hamas of terrorism. This formed the essence of Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir’s request to Qatar, on behalf of the besieging countries, to sever ties with Hamas.
These media campaigns did not quieten down, the most recent of which was Al-Riyadh newspaper describing the Palestinian movement as a terrorism movement in the context of its coverage of a news story regarding a Hamas delegation visiting Iran. Al-Jubeir embraced the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, a few days ago.
“These campaigns are an offering to please the Israeli occupation made by those who think it will contribute to solidifying their rule and will gain them Israeli-American approval of changes in the form and content of the governments.” This is how Yahya Moussa, Hamas’ PLC representative, described this position.
Moussa also added:
The Iran scarecrow is a big lie used by the media for emotional provocation. Those who host Popular Mobilisation Forces leaders and meet with Zarif have no right to blame others for doing the same thing.
This is in reference to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s meeting with Muqtada Al-Sadr. “Hamas’ relations with Iran were tense for years, and despite this, none of these countries made any real efforts regarding the Palestinian resistance, despite many attempts on its part,” he added.
A losing battle
On his part, Hamas media official, Raafat Marra, said that over the past years, the movement was subject to unjust and untrue accusations that have no basis or credibility from various countries. The aim of such accusations is to send positive messages to the occupation and American administration in order to gain their support. He noted that they are also a part of the Arab countries’ efforts to speed up the normalisation process with Tel Aviv.
In response to describing Hamas as a terrorist movement, Marra said: “Hamas is a national liberation movement that aims to defend the Palestinian people, liberate our land, protect our people and eliminate the occupation’s terrorism and oppression. The movement only targets the occupation and does not interfere in internal Arab affairs nor does it exercise violence against communities. In addition to this, Hamas is not a part of any regional axis and will not side with one regional country against another.”
The Hamas official also announced the movement’s willingness to engage in direct political dialogue to have an in-depth discussion regarding the mutual relations with Arab countries, calling for the Arab countries to stop their escalatory media campaigns, because “accusing Hamas is a losing battle that only serves the occupation’s interests.”
Palestinian writer Abdullah Al-Aqqad believes that the anti-Hamas campaigns are “nonsense, as the Palestinian resistance has passed the stage of being doubted or question, and has gained a great level of trust and appreciation across the Arab nation. This is especially true in Hamas’ case, as it embodies a great asset and is valued by the collective Palestinian resistance.”
Al-Aqqad rejected the terrorism accusations directed at the Palestinian factions, noting: “Hamas has confined its battle to the occupied territories, and is confronting one enemy, the Israeli occupation, which is considered the entire nation’s enemy, which continues to violate their sanctities.”
Palestinian writer and analyst Mustafa Al-Sawwaf believes that Saudi Arabia’s Al-Riyadh newspaper is suffering from “political blindness” after turning a blind eye to the fact that Al-Jubeir shook hands with and embraced the Iranian foreign minister. He wondered: “Will Saudi Arabia be considered a terrorist system after Al-Jubeir shook hands will Zarif?”
This article first appeared in Arabic on Al-Arab on 8 August 2017.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.