All posts for the month February, 2017

The emergence of new extremist groups at the Sinai Peninsula forced Egypt to broaden its cooperation with Hamas. The Islamist group Hamas is now preparing a new agenda and thereby will detach itself from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Observers argued that after the coup in 2013 in Egypt, in which the Muslim Brotherhood candidate President Mohammed Morsi was overthrown, also the group’s offspring Hamas suffered from the consequences. Furthermore, the situation gave rise to more radical Islamist groups in the Northern Sinai which became a new centre of extremism. However, Hamas found an opportunity to survive despite Israeli military attacks, its isolation caused by Egypt’s closing of the Rafah Gate border crossing and attempts of Salafi groups to rebel and ISIS’ recruitment of new followers. Now, Hamas is ready to adopt major changes in its approach. It will cut its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and restore relations with Egypt. Thereby, it will be more independent and will try to self-legitimize itself.

Already last year, all signs of the Muslim Brotherhood were removed from the streets and mosques in Gaza. A Hamas official also told the media that there is a need for changes in the group’s political ideology and its charter with regard to its relations with regional and international institutions. The recent developments in US-politics and President Donald Trump’s suggestion to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood and to improve US-ties with Egypt further forced Hamas to demonstrate more independence. According to Hamas officials, the organization already signalled towards Egypt that it will henceforth stress its character as Palestinian national group without affiliation to any other international movement, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas has also taken action against other radical movements in Gaza in coordination with Egyptian intelligence.

Summing up, it seems that Hamas tries to find a new position against the background of a new security situation in the region in order to gain outside support for Gazan needs.