Friday, 23 August 2013

Cornered Hamas Looks Back at Iran, Hezbollah

Stunned by turmoil in neighboring Egypt and starved of funds, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas is looking to repair damaged ties with its traditional Middle East allies, Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah party.

An off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas celebrated when the Sunni movement's Mohamed Morsy was elected president of Egypt in 2012, believing the vote would boost its own international standing and its grip on the isolated Gaza Strip.

In the meantime, outraged by the bloody civil war in Syria, the Palestinian group quit its headquarters in Damascus, snapping the Iran-led "axis of resistance" that challenged Israel and the West across the turbulent region.

Shia Muslim Iran, which had for years supplied Hamas with cash and arms, was infuriated by what it saw as a betrayal of its close friend, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and drastically scaled back its support. Tehran's Shia partner, Hezbollah, also voiced its fierce disapproval.

But following the ousting of Morsy, removed by the Egyptian military on 3 July, political sources said Hamas had had direct and indirect contacts with both Iran and Hezbollah -- anxious to revitalize old alliances and restore its battered funding.

This short article helps to explain some of the politics involving the Muslim brotherhood in Gaza and Syria. The MB and Hamas support for the extremists fighting against Assad, a rock solid opponent of the Israeli regime, places both these groups on shaky ground in terms of overall popularity in the Islamic world.

The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood became involved in the fighting in Syria, aiding NATO backed radicals, shows their action played into the hands of the West whose aims are to see countries like Syria and Iran dismembered.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, August 23rd, 2013.]

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