On November 14, Israel launched a deadly offensive against the besieged Gaza Strip, which killed more than 160 Palestinians and injured some 1,200 others. Palestinian resistance fighters incessantly poured retaliatory rockets and missiles onto the Israeli cities, killing at least five Israelis, including one soldier, in response to the deadly attacks on Gaza.
An interview with Mkhaimar Abu-Sada, professor at the Al-Azhar University, to further discuss the issue.
Q: Mr. Abu-Sada, if you can tell us how will Hamas be dealing with this war, will they continue? Can they keep up the fight and will the Gazan people accept an Arab league delegation or have they lost trust in the Arab league?
Abu-Sada Well in terms of Hamas, Hamas has shown a lot of confidence and a lot of resilience over the past eight days since the start of this Israeli aggression on the Palestinians in Gaza.
Hamas is also threatening the Israelis that if there is going to be a ground operation they should expect more surprises from Hamas as those surprises like the one by launching missiles in the depth of Israel in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem [al-Quds].
Hamas is not afraid of the continuation of the war even though Hamas has said that they are ready to accept the ceasefire but they are not afraid of an Israeli ground operation. They are ready to confront it.
Now in terms of the Palestinian population here in Gaza, to be honest with you, there is a feeling of fear and a feeling that the continuation of this Israeli bombing is just causing more casualties among the Palestinian civilians and most of those who have been killed so far, most of them are children, women and civilian people.
Now with regard to the Arab League and the delegation who visited the Gaza Strip yesterday, that was a very symbolic move by the Arab league, a symbolic move by the Arab Foreign Ministers who came to the Gaza Strip for the first time since Israel imposed siege and blockade over Gaza.
That visit was received in a good way by the Palestinians but in the meantime the Palestinian people here in Gaza are expecting more from the Arab League, are expecting more from the Arab governments.
They welcome such visit, they welcome the solidarity of the Arab regimes and the Arab people with the Palestinians in Gaza but they expect the Arab governments to end their relationship with Israel especially the governments who have diplomatic relationship with Israel mainly Egypt and Jordan. They are expecting more form the Arab league and the Arab regimes.
Q: On the issue of Hamas and Islamic Jihad now, on the insight seems the resistance is very much pro-resistance, pro if you may say Hezbollah’s line of thought continuing resistance until liberation. However you see some voices from Hamas on the outside trying closer to the Arab league or closer to countries like Qatar and so on. Is there very critical of this difference between the two Hamas?
Abu-Sada Now definitely there has been a shift in Hamas alliances over the past two years. Since before the eruption of the Arab Spring, Hamas was very much aligned with what the … resistance camp led by Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran but since the eruption of the Arab Spring and the eruption of the crisis in Syria, Hamas has shifted its alliances.
As we all know Hamas has left Syria completely and most of their offices now they are either in Doha, Qatar where Khalid Mashaal is based and Mousa Abu Marzook, his deputy who is based in Cairo.
The current war on Gaza has made it clear that Hamas is more aligned with the regime in Egypt led by the Muslim Brotherhood organization. They are closer now to Qatar, Turkey and Egypt who are trying to mediate a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.
But in the meantime the Palestinian resistance led by the Islamic Jihad has not ignored the help and support the Palestinian resistance made up of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad has received from Syria and from Iran.
In an interview with the leader of the Islamic Jihad, he has stated clearly that these weapons that the resistance is using against Israel is paid for or supplied by the Iranians and also the Syrians.
So now even though there has been shift in Hamas alliances, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have not ignored the financial, political and also military support they have received from the resistance camp in Syria, Hezbollah and Iran over the years before the eruption of the Arab Spring.