“In the absence of a comprehensive understanding between Israel and Hamas, and under Hamas ‘growing isolation, the relationship between it and Iran is strengthened, despite the internal leadership debate on the Iranian issue. Iran is exploiting Hamas’ political isolation to make it a ‘proxy.’ The arrests in Saudi Arabia could cut off the last rope that still ties Hamas to the moderate Arab states, “a source close to the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip said in a conversation with the TPS.
The source said that after being elected as the Hamas leader the Gaza Strip at the end of 2017, Yahya Sinwar has tried to bring a comprehensive civilian solution to the Gaza Strip and for a long-term ceasefire. The siege of the Strip is gradually increasing. But that gamble failed, in part because Israel refused any such initiative and favored the split with the Palestinian Authority,” he explained.
“Dahlan acted with great vigor and received compliments even from the most radical elements in the organization, who hoped he could open Egypt towards the Gaza Strip and bring relief from Israel to the population.”
“Following this,” the source claims, “Sinwar turned to an alternative plan – the reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority, but these efforts also failed because of the positions of the parties involved, including Israel and the US’ refusal to accept any unity between the PA and Hamas.”
Against the backdrop of developments in the region and the meetings held recently by Hamas leaders in Tehran and Lebanon, the source says there has been an internal debate over the alliance with Iran. “Now Hamas-Iran relations are tightening, contrary to the positions of top Hamas officials, because of the price Hamas pays for the hug from Iran.”
The source says Hamas officials understand that Iran will never risk Iranian soil or Iranian soldiers, but will continue to sacrifice Iraqis and Lebanese and Palestinians in its fight against the US and Israel.
Responding to the wave of arrests in Saudi Arabia against Hamas officials and reports in the Arab media about a Hamas-Turkey conflict, the source says the organization was recently forced to reduce its presence in Turkey and even Qatar, under US and Israeli pressure, and believes Saudi arrests will eliminate Hamas’ presence in the moderate countries, therefore, the influence of the states on Hamas’ moves.
“Iran is now an option for Hamas and it may be the organization’s last refuge. Only Egypt is still able to maintain influence over Hamas, despite the conflicts in recent years and it is hoped that it will succeed in bringing about a comprehensive civil settlement that will resolve the plight of the Gaza Strip and the problem of prisoners.”
In response to the question, he said that these things express a common position shared by many in Hamas, but reality plays into the hands of the hawkish pro-Iranian elements in the organization.
“Israel is wrong to think that Hamas is like Fatah”, he says. “Hamas is just as stubborn and tough as it is pragmatic” and although it is not interested in a fighting round, it will not succumb to military pressure. We are different from Fatah and will not give in like Arafat in Beirut in 1982. Hamas survives under heavy civilian pressure and its offensive actions in Israel’s eyes, are self-defense in its own eyes.”