Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-07-16 07:39:54
It is not so much that Egypt worries about the fate of Hamas – with which Cairo is openly at odds, to say the least. It is that Egypt, which had suffered a considerable decline in its foreign policy posture over excessive internal engagement, is concerned that it would no longer be the ultimate point of reference when it comes to Gaza – an effective backyard that remained under Egypt’s supervision from 1948 until the 1967 occupation and which is turning, according to the intelligence assessment in Cairo, into a clearly hostile constituency regardless of any affiliation to Hamas.
“Let us be clear about one thing; Hamas might deny it all it wants, but the fact of the matter is that 1) Hamas had been involved in destabilising security in Sinai in support of the Muslim Brotherhood, who were ousted by the will of the Egyptian people and 2) Hamas leaders have declined to heed our advice to avert the onset of hostilities a few weeks ago and decided to take the risk at the expense of unshielded Palestinian civilians in Gaza,” said an Egyptian official.
According to this and other officials, Hamas leaders rejected the appeal extended by top Egyptian intelligence officials that warned of an upcoming long and heavy military attack by Israel when three of its settlers were taken hostage. At the time, Egypt mediated for their release but, rather than having them freed, Hamas -- held responsible in Cairo for tolerating, if not directly orchestrating, the kidnap and execution of the teenagers -- turned a blind eye until the three were killed.
“Today, Hamas is no less stubborn and it is not willing to immediately go for a ceasefire that would spare its people from further Israeli wrath; in fact, I could say that there is more willingness on the side of Israel to pursue a ceasefire than on the side of Hamas,” the same official said. He added, “It is clear that [Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin] Netanyahu does not want, despite his threats, to get stuck with a ground invasion that would deliver the objective of eroding the military capacity of Hamas – much less considerably demolishing Hamas itself.” More»