Egypt and Hamas and overcoming the difficult in relations

Egypt and Hamas and overcoming the difficult in relations


By Osama Amer


Egypt and its relations with Palestine have always had A special situation after the fate of each other was linked.
Is that an emotional saying? Although emotion remains present in this fateful relationship, Thus in this saying! But the most important thing is that it is a purely scientific and objective view, This is due to the geographical and historical dimensions between the two countries;


Historically, the Palestinian cause has been the biggest factor in strengthening Arab nationalist sentiment in general and in Egypt in particular. The bonds of the relationship between Egypt and Palestine extend since the forties of the last century, When Abdel Razek Al-Sanhouri, representative of the Kingdom of Egypt, addressed the Palestine Conference held in London at the end of 1946, He expressed the Egyptian position by categorically rejecting any form of partition of Palestine and the establishment of a Jewish state in it and affirmed the right of the Palestinians to self-determination.


Geographically, Egypt and Palestine connect the eastern border, Which starts from Ras Taba on the Gulf of Aqaba, Even the Mediterranean coast in the city of Rafah, The Gaza Strip forms the land border and the eastern gateway to Egypt. This produced a special and distinguished Egyptian relationship with Gaza, Which will remain the hot spot between the two countries in the file of the Palestinian cause.


Because of the inseparable inseparability of Egypt’s security from the security of the Gaza Strip, it has become self-evident in the Egyptian national security tradition that when the security of the Gaza Strip is penetrated, In a dangerous situation, the eastern gate of Egypt will be fragile and soft in front of the enemy; and when Gaza holds, all of Egypt will be strengthened. Therefore, it goes without saying that Egypt’s security and internal and national independence are linked to what is happening on its eastern border.



Hence the question, which is constantly asked, especially with the change in developments and political conditions, On the Egyptian view of the relationship with the Gaza Strip, This sector has been controlled by the Palestinian Islamic Movement “Hamas” since 2007 with all the complexities and complexities of this relationship.


And Hamas, which has become a difficult number – impossible to surpass – in the internal Palestinian equation, As well as a regional and international number, Its relationship with the Egyptian state ranged between tug and pull, However, the peak of tension in relations between the two parties was after mid-2013. After the events that swept the Egyptian state, This is reflected in the relationship with Hamas, which is ideologically part of the Muslim Brotherhood.



At that time, there was a rupture between Hamas and the Egyptian state, and all forms of relations between them stopped. This situation continued until March 2016, when there was a relative breakthrough in relations between Hamas and Egypt after the visit of a high-level Hamas delegation to the Egyptian capital Cairo on March 12, 2016, and then this détente was strengthened at the end of 2016 after the successful political visit in December 2016 by the senior leader of the movement. Head of its International Relations Office, Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouq to Cairo.


It was followed by the Egyptian capital’s reception of a large Hamas political delegation the following month. That was in January 2017, The delegation was headed – at the time – by the former Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau at the time.


Follow in Egypt and Hamas and overcome the difficult in relations

These two visits, The two referred to Cairo had come a few days and weeks before the end of 2016, In terms of the relations between the Palestinian Islamic movement “Hamas” and the regime in Egypt, For about four years, he was engaged in a major political conflict with the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent group to which Hamas does not hide its affiliation. (at least on the intellectual affiliation and emotional attachment side), To start the year 2017 with optimistic political moves on both sides, reflecting the features of a real shift in the relationship between Cairo and Hamas, the latter was for a long time (since the January 2011 revolution) in the circle of accusations in the Egyptian capital, Many accusations were media, and some were judicial, which the Egyptian state itself appealed against when it rejected those accusations. Directed at Hamas to interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs.



By storming prisons, supporting the revolutionaries of January 25, 2011, and providing military and logistical support to the Muslim Brotherhood, These accusations have been repeatedly strongly denied by Hamas. Then came its rejection by the Egyptian judiciary itself, Dismissal of all cases brought to it, Until there are no issues of this kind pending between Hamas and Egypt, That period was one of the difficult periods in the relationship between the two sides; Then they were followed by many important and numerous visits that have continued to this day, Perhaps the most important of these visits was the one through which Palestinian reconciliation was announced again on the ground in Cairo between Fatah and Hamas in October 2017.



In addition, Hamas repeated its assertions of the importance of the relationship with Egypt and its rejection of any tension with it, and this, in our opinion, was due to Hamas’ awareness of the danger of antagonizing Egypt, not only because it is the only outlet for the Gaza Strip. But also because it realizes that no matter how entrenched the dispute with the Egyptian regime, Egypt, with its enormous material and human resources and its Arab and Islamic affiliation, remains an asset for Palestine and its cause.



But it was and still rears its head from time to time the dilemma of attachment and relationship, even in its intellectual and emotional framework between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. It is a relationship that has remained haunting for the Egyptian regimes, which deal very sensitively with all Islamic movements. Especially when it comes to the Muslim Brotherhood, which represents the strongest opposition, And the likely heir to the Egyptian regimes of all times; what does Hamas do?


Hamas has always maintained that it is an independent movement with its vision and goals. This was confirmed in its historic document announced on May 1, 2017, which came to give added flexibility in terms of relations with Egypt.


Historically, since the movement’s founding, Hamas has been characterized by a lot of flexibility and dynamism. It sought to employ many points of intersection and convergence to reassure the various Egyptian regimes, that I dealt with, Whether with the regime of former President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, with whom I dealt with semi-comfortable relations, Or during its handling of the era of the rule of the military council headed by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, after the revolution of January 25, 2011, which dealt with it with great positivity.


At that time, the Palestinian reconciliation agreement was signed. and the completion of the prisoner exchange deal, “Wafa al-Ahrar” (Shalit deal), Relations continued as normal and from the same gate under President Mohamed Morsi; they continue in the same spirit with the current regime in Egypt.


Hamas is working here to show a spirit of responsibility towards both Palestinian and Egyptian national interests. Although it will continue to act with great independence, When it comes to its Islamic identity or resistance, Or when you see that the regime in Egypt will exert pressure on it in favor of paths that it does not believe in, such as the paths of settlement, Or making arrangements that detract from its rights in the Palestinian arena, as we saw a few days ago when the movement recorded a position rejecting Egypt’s welcome to the agreement to normalize relations between the United Arab Emirates and the Zionist enemy. This rejection came from the head of the movement, Mr. Ismail Haniyeh.



But what about Egypt and what does it expect from its continued relationship with Hamas? Insiders believe that no regime in Egypt, no matter how annoying it is with Hamas and its connections, will continue to play its (patriarchal) role as a sponsor of the Palestinian cause. And to all Palestinian forces and factions, Specifically, for a broad mass movement such as Hamas, which constitutes a solid, large and rooted force within the Palestinian ranks, whether at the popular level, Or it was at the security and military level, through its direct rule of the geographical sector adjacent to Egypt from the northeastern border.



The other question is: Is it possible for Egypt to deal with Hamas as a strategic asset that serves its higher interests and national security? And not as a problem or a burden that embarrasses and weighs on her, And would like as if she was relieved of it? In our estimation and without any illusions, Or any compliments.


Despite all the problems and difficulties of politics, the relationship between Egypt and Hamas will remain in place, whether as a burden and a problem, or as a strategic asset that ultimately serves Egypt’s supreme national interest in the foreseeable future. Both near and far.



Some may ask another question: How can Hamas be a strategic asset to Egypt? In our estimation, the answer to this question has many reasons; objective and realistic, and procedural ones; All of them are in favor of Hamas as a resistance movement. These reasons and data are unmistakable to the eyes of the sovereign decision-making organs in Egypt. Which knows the truth about Hamas.
But for example, we can say in addition to the aforementioned entrenchment of Hamas among the Palestinian people at home and abroad, Moreover, Hamas now has a resistance army that has survived four wars launched by Israel in the Gaza Strip.



In addition to the electoral legitimacy of the movement in terms of the legislative institution, which makes it absurd to bypass it, These are all important data, But perhaps the most important thing for Egypt among all these facts is that Hamas is a movement that has limited its work to national resistance action inside the land of Palestine.



And did not really interfere in Egyptian affairs, Nor in Arab affairs during the 33 years since its establishment. Its association with the authority and Islamic thought is linked to sharpening energies and enthusiasm in order to work for the liberation of Palestine. This engagement informs the Egyptian decision-maker that neither the Egyptian regime nor any of the Arab regimes will be threatened.



Regional events in the last nine years, specifically what happened in Syria, have also proven that it is an independent movement that is not dependent on any of the regimes or axes. Specifically for the Iranian regime, And that the claim of loyalty to Iran or working for it, which was troubling the Egyptian regimes, is not true, This was what the regime in Egypt was aware of.



But it is an accusation that was exploited for reasons belonging to its owners against the movement in certain eras, knowing that Hamas’s benefit, whether past or current, from Iran is like supporting the resistance program. which the movement carried, and some Arab regimes fought it because of it, The doors were closed in her face.”



Added to those most important reasons, Any process of reforming the Palestinian house, specifically now with regard to the renewal of Palestinian legitimacy, Specifically with regard to the Palestine Liberation Organization in its third edition, It will only take place with the participation of Hamas, Hamas should take its just right and natural role in this process.



Nor can we ignore that Israel still views Egypt as a potential enemy. Israel sets its strategies according to the criteria and possibilities of fighting a future war with Egypt and the rest of the Arab countries. Here, Egypt has the right to adjust its strategies according to the possibilities of Israeli aggression. Especially with the organized terrorism taking place in Sinai, Israeli hands are not far from it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *