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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More