I wrote this piece for AlMonitor. The Pulse of the Middle East
It may be subtle, it may be slow, but undoubtedly the uprisings in the Arab world — particularly in Egypt — have resulted in new dynamics on the Palestinian front. Hamas, whose members were once shunned and isolated by the Egyptian leadership under former President Hosni Mubarak, is now slowly gaining strength and support, not just from the Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan, but also from Turkey and Qatar.
The visit of the Emir of Qatar to Gaza, and his planned business support projects, together with the declaration of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan of his intention to visit Gaza are just some of many examples of Hamas’s change of fortune.
The group that once was an example of cross-sectarian alliance, Sunni and Shia, within the “resistance camp” (Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah), is now solidly part of a newly emerging Sunni Islamist camp in the Middle East. Hamas, it seems, has chosen its side in the regional sectarian war playing out in the region. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has continued to labor for peace with Israel and a state for Palestine, is now perceived as a man of a bygone era that does not fit with the Islamist agenda and rhetoric that has animated Hamas and its new patrons. To continue reading click here