News / Middle East

Abbas Rejoices, Hamas Goes Quiet After Egyptian President's Fall

Outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, right, shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, at the government house, in Beirut, Lebanon, July 4, 2013.
Outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, right, shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, at the government house, in Beirut, Lebanon, July 4, 2013.
Reuters
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised Egypt's military on Thursday for toppling President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, the ideological ally of Abbas's Hamas rivals.
 
The fall of Morsi's government deprived Hamas of a sympathetic neighbor, and may strengthen Abbas's chances of nudging Hamas toward a long-delayed reconciliation and power-sharing pact.
 
By intervening to remove Morsi, the Egyptian army had prevented Egypt's “slide toward an unknown fate”, Abbas said.
 
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top official in the Palestine Liberation Organization headed by Abbas, said: “This is a historic day for Egypt, and we are learning a lesson from the Egyptian example. Hamas should take note of what popular will can achieve.”
 
Palestinians are riven by political and cultural splits that mirror Egypt's. A Hamas victory in 2006 parliamentary polls led to a short civil war, which left the Islamists ruling Gaza, while Abbas's Fatah faction holds sway in the West Bank.
 
Hamas officials largely shunned the media on Thursday, and the movement took no position on the sudden removal of Morsi.
 
“We pray to God to preserve the security and the stability of Egypt and its people and to prevent bloodshed,” a Hamas spokesman, Ehab Ghussein, told Reuters.
 
The group had seen its star rise in the Arab world following a tide of uprisings in 2011 that swept religious-inspired governments to power in Tunisia and Egypt.
 
The leader of influential oil-rich Gulf state Qatar, a major backer of both the Brotherhood and Hamas, visited Gaza in October bearing hefty aid gifts. Egypt's prime minister, along with an Arab League delegation, came to the territory last November, even as Hamas and Israel fought an eight-day war.
 
Border crackdown
 
Hamas's muted response may signal its caution at upsetting an Egyptian military that controls Gaza border lifelines.
 
“It would be wrong to say relations won't be affected. Relations could become cold for a period,” said Hamas official Mustafa Assawaf, who stressed he was speaking as a political analyst about future ties with Egypt's new government.
 
Hamas leaders and supporters greeted Morsi's election last year with delight, believing his leadership would usher in the beginning of the end of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza and a near-total international diplomatic quarantine.
 
But the Brotherhood, buffeted by Egypt's internal storms and exercising little authority over the security forces, furnished Hamas with few concrete advantages.
 
In recent weeks, Egypt's army, citing security concerns as it confronts Islamist militants in the Sinai desert, has stepped up a crackdown on border tunnels with Gaza through which food, fuel and weapons are smuggled.
 
The campaign has dismayed Hamas and pushed up prices in the impoverished coastal enclave.
 
Gaza residents say that dozens of Egyptian troops have reinforced the border areas since mass protests calling for Morsi's ouster began on June 30. The army also controls the Rafah border terminal, Gaza's main link to the outside world.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid