By Osama Al Sharif, for Arab News (via Eurasia) - July 17, 2013
If there is one group, aside from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, that has suffered great losses from the recent overthrow of President Muhammad Mursi, it has to be Hamas, the Islamist movement ruling over the besieged Gaza Strip since 2007. In fact, the movement, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, is now being viewed as a hostile force by Egypt’s new rulers.But the Jan. 25, 2011 Egyptian uprising changed everything. The ruling military council (SCAF) opened the border crossing and received Hamas officials in Cairo and attempted to mediate between President Mahmoud Abbas and his Hamas rivals in order to achieve Palestinian reconciliation. And when Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, won the presidential elections, Hamas celebrated that victory as its own.
And when war broke out between Hamas and Israel in November 2012 President Mursi’s mediation was instrumental in concluding a cease-fire. Egypt, for the first time, acted as a guarantor of the agreement.
Close ties with Mursi’s Egypt coincided with Hamas’ break up with Syria’s Bashar Assad. For years the Islamist movement’s Political Bureau was based in Damascus. But when the Syrian uprising broke out and Assad clamped down on his own people, head of the Political Bureau Khaled Meshaal decided it was time to move out of Syria. He denounced the use of force by Assad and that distanced the movement from two key allies; Iran and Hezbollah.
Even worse the media now alleges that Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza are responsible for the state of lawlessness in Sinai and of carrying out attacks against Egyptian soldiers and policemen. Fresh allegations point to Palestinian participation in pro-Mursi sit-ins and of carrying out
attacks against the Republican Guards last week.