Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy to Khaled Mashal, head of the Hamas politburo, gave a recent interview to the pro-Assad Al Mayadeen TV station in Lebanon that has not received appropriate attention. When asked about Hamas involvement in inter-Arab disputes, he denied such involvement, of course, but added that Arabs must stop turning their guns toward each other, but rather face the Zionist enemy and foreign forces who invaded our territory – that is, Arab or Muslim.
He did not say that Hamas will turn its weapons against the U.S. and its allies involved in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but, it should be noted, this is the first time that such a senior representative of Hamas has spoken in terms of a struggle with the West – i.e., “foreign forces.”
This issue was controversial within Hamas in the time of Sheikh Yassin,when senior Hamas officials were involved in the war in Afghanistan, and had connections with militant Islamic groups in Europe, but Sheikh Yassin decided against such involvement and stated that Hamas’ struggle would only be within the confines of the Palestinian struggle.
Why is Abu Marzouk saying these things now? It was a signal to Iran via the pro-Iranian media that Hamas is considering joining the international network of terrorist cells spread throughout the world.
After the fall of the Morsi regime in Egypt and the shocks occurring in Sudan, Hamas faced real hardship. Egypt is fighting against it in various ways, Assad announced that Hamas had betrayed him, Jordan does not allow Hamas to operate in its territory, in the West Bank it is being pressed by Israeli and Palestinian security forces, and in fact has reached a dead end.
Cooperation with Iran – and joining its side – is a real option; or at least the threat of such a connection might help it soften the iron hand of Egypt toward Hamas.