May 6, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8047

On Twitter, Arabs Criticize Hamas For Recent Firing Of Hundreds Of Rockets From Gaza Strip Into Israel – Part I: Saudis Side With Israel, Attack Hamas

May 6, 2019
Saudi Arabia, Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 8047

The latest round of fighting between Israel and Gaza sparked many reactions from Saudis on Twitter. Noteworthy among these responses were tweets, including by prominent intellectuals and journalists, that sided with Israel and hoped for its safety and victory, while attacking Hamas and its policy, in particular its firing of rockets. Some wrote that Hamas was firing the rockets on orders from Iran, in retaliation for the tightening of the U.S. sanctions on this country on May 3, 2019. It should be noted that this is not the first time Saudi intellectuals and academics have openly expressed support for Israel and criticized Hamas.[1]

The following are some of the tweets:

Saudi Journalists And Liberals: Iran Is In Trouble, And The Palestinians Are Paying The Price

Liberal Saudi author and intellectual Dr. Turki Al-Hamad described the latest flare-up of the fighting in Gaza as a predictable and ever-repeating scenario, while blaming it on the troubles plaguing Iran and Turkey. He tweeted: "It's a repeating loop: rockets [are fired] from Gaza into Israel, Israel bombs [Gaza], someone or other mediates, the fighting stops – and the common Palestinian folks pay the price. This is 'resistance,' my friend. Iran and Turkey are in trouble, and the Palestinians are paying the price."[2]

Responding to Al-Hamad's tweet, Saudi Twitter user Mut'ab Al-Jabrin attacked Hamas and its policy in Gaza: "Since the Hamas coup and its takeover of Gaza, the [Gaza] Strip has been suffering mismanagement which has caused [its residents] to lose even the most basic services, [namely] power and water. [All this is] due to the foolish policy of Hamas, which does nothing but fire a few rockets that fall even before they reach their target, and which achieve no balance [of power] and exert no political pressure. It ends with Israeli strikes that destroy the Gaza Strip's infrastructures."[3]

Senior Saudi journalist Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh, who writes for the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah, tweeted that the firing of rockets from Gaza is carried out on orders from Iran, in retaliation for the tightening of the U.S. sanctions: "The Persian ayatollahs have instructed their servants, Hamas, to escalate [the conflict] with Israel, and they obeyed. The result is seven Palestinians dead, versus one Israeli wounded. The Persians are tightening the pressure on the U.S. and Israel in retaliation for Trump's decision, and the victims are the people of Gaza."[4]

Saudi Academic: May Allah Protect Israel; All Countries Of The Region Must Confront Hamas's Terror

Saudi intellectual and researcher 'Abd Al-Hamid Al-Hakim, the former director of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies in Jeddah, who frequently writes in support of Israel,[5] expressed hope for peace with this country and its people, and called on the region and the world to take responsibility and confront Hamas. He tweeted: "Our hearts are with you. May Allah protect Israel and its people. We will not let the treacherous hand of Iran and its agents in Gaza reach the Israeli people. It's time to say this out loud: confronting the terror of Hamas is the responsibility of all the countries in the region and of the international community [as a whole], not only of Israel. I say to the Arabs...: Do you want these murderers and agents of Iran to rule Jerusalem?!"[6]

Muhammad Al-Kahtani, a Saudi user from Riyadh, tweeted: "[Message from] Saudi Arabia: We stand with our cousins[7] in Israel following the terror attack of the terrorist Hamas, [in which] over 200 rockets have been fired on unarmed civilians. May Allah protect Israel and give it victory over the terrorist Hamas and everyone who supports it.[8]



[2], May 4, 2019.

[3], May 4, 2019.

[4], May 5, 2019.

[6], May 5, 2019.

[7] Jews and Arabs refer to each other as "cousins," since they regard themselves as the descendants of Abraham's sons, Isaac and Ishmael, respectively.

[8], May 4, 2019.



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