by Khaled Abu Toameh
July 31, 2014
The U.S. Administration’s main objective in cease-fire talks is clearly to empower Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, Hamas.
This is how the Palestinian Authority [PA] sees the recent efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to achieve a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. It is no secret that the PA, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would like to see an end to Hamas’s rule over the Gaza Strip. Moreover, they seem to support the idea of disarming Hamas as part of any agreement to end the current crisis.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been issuing strong condemnations of the Israeli “aggression” on the Gaza Strip over the past few weeks, is hoping that the war will result in the return of his loyalists to control the Gaza Strip or, at least to the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.
Abbas and his Arab allies are not going to shed a tear if Hamas is removed from power and the Gaza Strip is demilitarized at the end of the war. There is growing concern in Ramallah, Cairo, Riyadh and Dubai, however, that the U.S. Administration is now working to prevent the collapse of Hamas. This concern was reinforced by Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent tour of the region. His trip ended with last week’s Paris meeting to discuss the Israel-Hamas war.
….By ignoring Egypt, which considers Hamas a threat to its national security and has been conducting its own war against the Islamist movement over the past year, Kerry sent a message to the Arabs and Muslims according to which the U.S. Administration is on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. “Kerry is exploiting the war to restore the influence of Muslim Brotherhood in the region,” charged a Palestinian official in Ramallah. “The Americans mistakenly think that moderate political Islam, represented by Muslim Brotherhood, would be able to combat radical Islam. The Americans are trying to bring the Muslim Brotherhood back to the region.” Another Palestinian official accused President Barack Obama and Kerry of organizing a “Friends of Hamas” conference in Paris. “How can you hold such a conference without inviting representatives of the Palestinian Authority and Egypt?” he asked. “Qatar and Turkey are happy to see the Obama Administration help them in their effort to save Hamas and embolden Muslim Brotherhood.”