UPDATES

Earth-shattering news from Gaza

Feb 13, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Earth-shattering news from Gaza
news_item/volcano2.jpg

Literally Earth-shattering, according to Iranian state media outlet Press TV:

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the powerful feelings of the regional nations towards Gaza have been instrumental in the eruption of the region’s volcano.

There is, of course, a chance that he was speaking figuratively, although this would not be the first time an Iranian cleric linked a natural disaster with global politics. There was, for instance, those earthquakes two years ago caused by promiscuous women, or the time that European countries stole Iran’s rain, leading to a widespread drought. The more sinister part of Khamenei’s statement, which emerged from a recent meeting with Ismail Haniyeh — Hamas’ leader in Gaza — concerned Iranian support to Hamas:

The Leader also warned against the infiltration of the Islamic resistance by pro-reconciliation elements.

… Haniyeh, for his part, praised Iranian support for Palestine and said Hamas’ three main strategies are the liberation of all Palestinian lands, resistance and rejecting reconciliation talks and emphasis on the Islamic nature of the Palestine issue. 

The meeting yesterday was highly symbolic given the context in which it occurred. Over past weeks, Hamas’ political bureau has made two significant steps that have led some in the West to speak of the movement’s “moderation”: the formerly Damascus-based bureau has evacuated from Syria, having made the decision to break-off its relationship to Iranian ally Bashar al-Assad; and the bureau’s leader, Khaled Meshal, committed to a unity agreement with rival Palestinian faction Fatah, involving numerous concessions to the Palestinian Authority. As a result, there have been increasing signs of division between the movement’s Gaza-based leadership and the external leadership.

Haniyeh’s meeting with Khamenei cements the growing dissent emanating from his Gazan government and serves as a bold challenge to Meshal, who has been touring the Middle East looking for allies in the new Sunni Islamist regimes and has been avoiding Hamas’ traditional Shiite patrons in Iran. As an unnamed Hamas official said to Jerusalem Post journalist Khaled Abu Toameh:

Mashaal left Syria because he refused to come out in support of Assad, who is butchering dozens of his people very day … But now here is Haniyeh visiting Iran, which is helping Assad and supplying him with weapons and security experts to suppress the popular uprising in his country. The timing of the visit is very bad and could harm Hamas’s interests in the region.

More than simply dividing Hamas, the growing clash between the two branches of leadership appears to have once again killed off the latest unity agreement. Given the track record over the past year, this should hardly come as a surprise (for examples of where it has been re-announced and then fallen apart, see see herehere, here, here and here).

The power struggle will be interesting to watch, but it does not seem likely that the external leadership would be able to overpower Hamas’ base in Gaza, meaning that for all the fanfare of recent months, no meaningful progress has been made regarding the Palestinians since Hamas took Gaza in 2007.

Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


While Iran's economy is currently in poor shape, estimates are that a nuclear deal could provide Teheran with up to US$275 billion within a year and US$800 billion over five years (Image: motioncenter, Shutterstock)

International implications of Iran’s economic unrest

May 31, 2022 | Update
Hezbollah does not hide its open affiliation with Iran - as these Hezbollah youth demonstrate - but the Middle Easterners are tired of the poverty, war and chaos that Iranian proxies bring to the countries they operate in. (Photo: nsf2019, Shutterstock)

Election setback for Hezbollah

May 21, 2022 | Update
Shireen Abu Akleh, the well-known Al Jazeera journalist who was killed during a firefight between Palestinians and the IDF in Jenin under unclear circumstances on Wednesday, May 11 (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Controversy follows tragic death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

May 13, 2022 | Update
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Italian TV: "Hitler also had Jewish blood. It means absolutely nothing…the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews." (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

The implications of Israel’s recent spat with Russia

May 7, 2022 | Update
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosts Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in January: A new Iran nuclear deal would be a boon to Russia and allied anti-democratic forces (Photo: ITAR-TASS News Agency / Alamy Stock Photo)

Are the Iran nuclear talks deadlocked?

Apr 29, 2022 | Update
Supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad gather in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on April 8 to celebrate the attack on a Tel Aviv bar by Raad Hazem (Photo: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo)

Incitement and the latest terror wave in Israel

Apr 14, 2022 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

(Source: Pixabay)

AIJAC welcomes Victorian swastika ban, and introduction of similar NSW legislation

Naftali Bennett (R), Yair Lapid (L) and former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (credit:Haim Tzach / GPO)

AIJAC’s Ahron Shapiro and Ran Porat interviewed on Israeli political developments on ABC NewsRadio

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (R); Alternative PM and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (C) and Defence Minister Benny Gantz  (L) (Photo: Noam Moscowitz / Knesset spokesperson)

Some key points to understand about the dissolution of Israel’s Government

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (Image: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

Israel and the UN: How the world’s only Jewish state has been scapegoated

Image: Shutterstock

Unhealthy obsessions return to the annual World Health Organisation assembly – yet there are signs of positive change

(Source: Pixabay)

AIJAC welcomes Victorian swastika ban, and introduction of similar NSW legislation

Naftali Bennett (R), Yair Lapid (L) and former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (credit:Haim Tzach / GPO)

AIJAC’s Ahron Shapiro and Ran Porat interviewed on Israeli political developments on ABC NewsRadio

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (R); Alternative PM and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (C) and Defence Minister Benny Gantz  (L) (Photo: Noam Moscowitz / Knesset spokesperson)

Some key points to understand about the dissolution of Israel’s Government

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (Image: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

Israel and the UN: How the world’s only Jewish state has been scapegoated

Image: Shutterstock

Unhealthy obsessions return to the annual World Health Organisation assembly – yet there are signs of positive change

SORT BY TOPICS