From great promise to persona non grata. That’s how dramatic the blow to Hamas’ relationship with Egypt has been. The previous Egyptian government, led by a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, had been making limited overtures to Hamas—with more expected due to the ideological links between Hamas and the Brotherhood.
But now that the Brotherhood has been labeled a terrorist organization by Egyptian authorities following the popular coup last summer, Ahram Online reports that Hamas has now been served with a temporary ban on activities in Egypt. While not good for Hamas, it’s good news for Israel and those who hope for peace.
Hamas has a well-earned reputation of being a terrorist organization—launching rocket attacks and suicide bombings at Israel for most of the last two decades. Egypt has accused Hamas of turning their terrorism towards them by helping terrorists in the Sinai region attack Egyptian security forces.
Ahram Online said Hamas denied the actions, but their past doesn’t exactly imply innocence.
The Egyptian ban on Hamas will last at least until the espionage trial for former President and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi concludes. Among other things, Morsi is accused of espionage with Hamas officials.
Egypt controls the southern border of Gaza, which is led by Hamas, making them a key country for Hamas smuggling of weapons and terrorists.
In other words, with Egypt turning on Hamas, we could see a reduction in terrorism stemming from Gaza. That could force Hamas to give up their violence against Israel or at least limit their capabilities.
That’s why it’s so good for us—when Hamas is treated as a pariah, peace can grow.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, March 4, 2014)