Creating new perspectives since 2009

Hamas is under pressure from those close to it and facing threats from its enemies

June 10, 2024 at 11:00 am

Fighters of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas in Gaza City, Gaza on 27 November, 2023. [Stringer – Anadolu Agency]

It is neither strange nor surprising for US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to completely lose their minds after eight months of war against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, during which they did not achieve any military victory against the resistance groups that they can boast about to the world. They have been unable to destroy Hamas as they had dreamt, or free all of the Israelis being held by the movement.

Netanyahu instead celebrated an imaginary victory that he presented to save face before the angry Israeli people by freeing four out of 200 hostages still held by the resistance. He did so with direct help from the US, and an Israeli Special Forces officer was killed in the operation. At the beginning of his invasion of Gaza, Netanyahu announced that he would free the hostages within 24 hours and destroy Hamas. Eight months down the line, Hamas is still resisting the Zionist occupation.

READ: Israel retrieves 4 hostages alive from central Gaza Strip

In light of the tense situation in Gaza, the difficulty or even impossibility of eliminating Hamas, and the need to end the war on the condition that Israel does not emerge defeated by the Islamic Resistance Movement, the US is putting intense pressure on its allies in the region, especially Egypt and Qatar. Washington wants them to threaten Hamas leaders with sanctions and expulsion from Qatar if they do not agree to the road map announced by Biden last week.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Qatar and Egypt have told Hamas leaders in recent days that they face possible arrest, freezing of their assets, sanctions and expulsion from their haven in Doha if they don’t agree to a ceasefire with Israel.”

US State Department spokesman Matt Miller explained: “We have seen them [Egypt and Qatar] exert significant pressure on Hamas. I’m not going to get into the details of that here. We have seen both countries play I think an incredibly important role in mediating this deal, in making clear that this deal is in the interests of the Palestinian people and doing so appropriately.”

The US is demanding that Egypt threaten to cut off access points from Egypt to Gaza, which is the main lifeline of the Strip.

In effect, Washington is asking for yet more collective punishment of the Palestinians in the enclave.

“The threats were made at the behest of the Biden administration, which is searching for a way to cajole a US-designated terrorist group into striking a deal that the president needs amid a political maelstrom over the war,” said the Wall Street Journal. “It had the opposite of the desired effect.”

The newspaper quoted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who is in Qatar, as saying that “he wouldn’t agree on a deal that doesn’t meet the group’s conditions,” noting that the current proposal is “unacceptable for Hamas because, in the group’s eyes, it doesn’t guarantee an end to the war” and allows Israeli troops to remain on the ground in Gaza.

The resistance will not accept a deal that wastes its victories in the field and is not worthy of its people’s sacrifices and suffering over the past eight months. Neither the Palestinian people nor history will forgive Hamas for accepting an agreement that wastes the rights of the martyrs. I am confident that Hamas leaders, with their faith in God and the Palestinian land, will not resort to this despite the enormous pressure being put on them.

The resistance has proven throughout the previous rounds of negotiations that it is highly professional and has the patience of revolutionaries who believe in their people’s cause and have sacrificed their souls and blood for it. Now is the time for great caution and a great harvest, and the resistance is the best of reapers.

Gaza is defending the dignity of an entire Ummah; a nation that was the best ever sent to the world, and they are paying the tax for this with the blood of their own people. Gaza is the fortress of dignity in an Ummah whose rulers have been submissive, conspired against it, and let its people down. Gaza is the last fortress of resistance in the Ummah today, and tomorrow it will be the first fortress of victory and the liberation of Palestine, God willing, with its strong men who are on the path of truth, who defeat their enemies, and who are not harmed by those who let them down.

There is nothing more fitting than to finish with the words of the late poet Mahmoud Darwish about Gaza in his poem “Silence for Gaza”:

Gaza has no horses, airplanes, magic wands, or offices in capital cities. Gaza liberates itself from our attributes, our language, and of her conquerors all at once. And when we run into her, once upon a dream, she may not recognise us because she was born of fire while we were born of waiting and crying over our homes.

OPINION: At last, the Israeli occupation and Daesh are on the same UN blacklist

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.