Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

The Issue is Bigger Than Hamas and Fatah

Palestinian division is no secret, nor is the rift between Fatah and Hamas, which has been entrenched since Hamas threw members of Fatah off the roof following their 2007 coup in Gaza.
Today, however, this dispute is back at the forefront following the comments of Osama Hamdan, Hamas’s top official in Lebanon. "No one imagines that the Sinai Desert will swallow the Palestinians. On the contrary, the border region will be more of a robust base of resistance to the occupation.”
He then added: "Those concerned about national security or the region's stability should strive not to end the assault on Gaza but to end the occupation." Fatah responded by calling these statements "reprehensible" and tantamount to approving the idea of mass displacement.
Hamas was also urged to realize that "the lives of Palestinian citizens are more important than partisan interests." Since 2007, however, Hamas has shown that it does not care about Palestinians, and it couldn't care less about the sovereignty of regional states, to say nothing about their national security.
This was evident during what was falsely labeled as the Arab Spring in Egypt, as prisons were opened and so on. Just a few days ago, Hamas announced the establishment of "The Al-Aqsa Flood Vanguards” in Lebanon, a move that was rejected by the Lebanese people, with the exception of the terrorist organization Hezbollah.
Now, Osama Hamdan has made statements implying that Hamas is not opposed to the displacement of the people of Gaza to Sinai and beyond. His statements suggest that the Muslim Brotherhood has started thinking about using Sinai, Egyptian territory, as a base of operations for attacks against Israel.
Hamdan's talk about national security and regional security is nothing but a veiled threat to both Egypt and Jordan, whose tribes Khalid Meshaal has tried to sway. This tells us that Hamas is now looking for an alternative from which to continue the struggle, not solutions to end Israel’s aggression.
That's why they attempted to establish the Al-Aqsa Flood Vanguards in Lebanon and are now trying to blackmail Egypt. Hamas, and its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, are not concerned with borders and the sovereignty of Arab states.
A Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahhar, once said in a leaked video, "A Palestinian state within the 1967 borders is a fundamental policy? Of course, when I hear such talk, I feel nauseous." He added, "For us, Palestine is like someone who uses a toothbrush just to clean their teeth, as our project is bigger than Palestine."
He goes on to say, "Palestine is not on the map." Meanwhile, Hamdan is now talking about national security and regional stability! The truth is they are not concerned with saving the people of Gaza. Ismail Haniyeh previously said that all they need is "blood and souls."
All of this means that the region is now faced with two parties that are not concerned with security or saving lives: Hamas and Israel. Therefore, it is crucial that Arabs do not equivocate on the sovereignty of regional states, especially Egypt and Jordan, and reject any threat to them, even if that threat comes from Hamas and its ilk.
The Arabs must also strive to bring the Palestinian Authority back to Gaza, but the Palestinian Authority must rebuild itself and change its leadership, today and not tomorrow.