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memri
February 12, 2019 No.
7889

Former Jordanian Minister: Hamas Is A Branch Of The Muslim Brotherhood, Not A Palestinian National Liberation Movement

In a December 6, 2018 article in the London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Saleh Al-Qallab, a former Jordanian minister and currently a columnist for the government daily Al-Rai, contested the claim that Hamas is a Palestinian national liberation movement.[1] Qallab wrote that Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the global Muslim Brotherhood (MB) organization and acts on the orders of this organization, of Qatar and of MB ideologue Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi. He added that Hamas is part of a regional axis that includes Iran, Turkey, Qatar, the Assad regime, Hizbullah, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the Houthis in Yemen. Had Hamas really been a Palestinian liberation movement, he said, it would not have impeded the reconciliation efforts with Fatah and fought to maintain its separate rule in Gaza, and would not have consistently sided with Qatar, Iran and the MB while turning its back on Saudi Arabia.

The following are excerpts from his article:[2]


Saleh Al-Qallab (image: yemen-press.com, April 16, 2018)

"It is in no way accurate or correct to call Hamas a national liberation movement. Had Hamas been a national liberation movement, it would have remained neutral with respect to the conflicts in the region. Hamas is a branch of the MB; this is a known and proven [fact], and Hamas admits it. Hamas is bound by and committed to the orders, directives and commands of the global MB organization, just like all the other branches of this organization...

"Fatah, the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] and the other factions that have joined the PLO can be defined as national liberation movements, which have permission to distance themselves from all the conflicts that have been taking place in the region, especially since 2011. But this is not true of Hamas as long as it belongs to the global MB organization and constitutes one of its branches – for Hamas is known to be involved in all of these conflicts and has never been neutral [regarding them]... 

"Had Hamas's claims been true, it would not have taken the side of any axis or bloc in the region, and it would not have been so strictly committed to every move of the MB. Moreover, its leaders would not be living in Qatar alongside [MB ideologue] Yousuf Al-Qaradawi and would not have been welcomed there. Hamas would not have fought all the wars of [its] sister Qatar and joined all its alliances, and would not have turned its back on Saudi Arabia – which has been and continues to be the staunchest supporter of the Palestinian cause, financially, politically and on every other level.

"Can the claim that Hamas is a national liberation movement and is not affiliated with any of the axes and blocs in the region be believed when it displays such devotion to Iran, rivaled only by the devotion of the Lebanese Hizbullah and the Iraqi PMU? When it returned, humiliated, to Syria on the orders of Qatar and Iran, having distancing itself from [Syria] for four years? [And] all this despite the fact that the Al-Yarmouk Palestinian [refugee] camp [in southwestern Syria] was reduced to rubble [by the Syrian regime], and even though this Syrian regime is unable to express its opinions or make decisions in Syria, [because the authority to make] decisions is in the hands of [Iran's Qods Force] commander Qassem Soleimani and the commander of [Iran's] Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Mohammad Ali Ja'fari.

"If Hamas is really a national liberation movement, why did it follow the directives, or even the orders, of Qatar, of Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi and of the MB [leaders] in Turkey? Why did it renege, within less than 24 hours, on the Mecca Agreement signed in 2007 by [Palestinian] President Mahmoud 'Abbas and [Hamas leaders] Khaled Mash'al and Isma'il Haniya under the aegis of the late [Saudi] king 'Abdallah bin 'Abd Al-'Aziz?

"Why did Hamas receive the previous emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Aal Thani, like a prince or an emperor in Gaza, when it knew that he was involved in an open conspiracy to eliminate the Palestinian National Authority and to politically assassinate President 'Abbas?... Why does [Hamas] still refuse to become a member of the PLO, which has been recognized by the Arabs and the world as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people? Why does it continue hampering the series of contacts with Fatah taking place in Cairo and elsewhere [in an effort to affect a Palestinian reconciliation]?...

"Why did sister Qatar give millions of dollars to Hamas alone, through Israeli channels, when this Qatari aid should have been provided to the PA and the entire Palestinian people? Doesn't this mean that there is a [political] axis led by Qatar, and that Hamas, as a branch of the MB, is a dominant member in it, along with Iran, Turkey, the Bashar Al-Assad regime and of course the Houthis in Yemen?

"If Hamas is a national liberation movement... why does it continue to perpetuate the reality [created by]  its bloody coup against the PA in 2007? Why did it enter alone into all these secret negotiations with the Israelis and the Americans on the Deal of the Century?...

"After the failure of the recent reconciliation talks [between Fatah and Hamas] in Cairo, it has been clearly proven that this movement is part of a conspiracy supported by the global MB, Qatar and perhaps even Turkey, [a conspiracy to establish] the hoped-for Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip alone, based on the Deal of the Century, while leaving the status of the West Bank [to be decided] in the distant future..."

 

[1] This claim was stressed recently, by both Hamas itself and Fatah, as part of the campaign to thwart the U.S.-initiated U.N. draft resolution condemning Hamas. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7792, Palestinian Authority, Fatah Act To Thwart UN Resolution Condemning Hamas Rocket Attacks On Israel: 'We Will Not Allow Hamas To Be Labeled A Terror Organization'; 'We Will Serve As Its Body Armor', December 5, 2018.

[2] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), December 6, 2018.