Hamas, Islamic Jihad endure ‘rift’ in Gaza

Special Hamas, Islamic Jihad endure ‘rift’ in Gaza
A Palestinian girl is seen during an anti-Israel protest near Beit El in the West Bank on Saturday. (Reuters)
Updated 17 November 2019

Hamas, Islamic Jihad endure ‘rift’ in Gaza

Hamas, Islamic Jihad endure ‘rift’ in Gaza
  • Hamas wants to have a long-term cease-fire with Israel

GAZA CITY: The latest round of military escalation in the Gaza Strip following the assassination of senior Islamic Jihad military leader Bahaa Abu Al-Atta painted many big questions about the future of the relationship between Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which witnessed a “rift” in the response to the assassination.

There was anger among the popular bases of Islamic Jihad. Informed sources in both movements said that great efforts are being made at the political and military levels to repair the rift caused by the recent Israeli escalation.
The editor-in-chief of the Islamic Jihad newspaper Al-Istiqlal, Khaled Sadiq, acknowledged that Hamas’ stance not to respond to the assassination has created “anger” for some in the Islamic Jihad, especially among youth bases.
Sadiq said that the seriousness of this division emerged from the occupation’s attempt to split between the resistance factions in Gaza, which seems to have succeeded in deceiving Hamas and isolating them from participating in the response.
Ibrahim Al-Madhoun, a political analyst close to Hamas, explained its stance on the recent escalation, saying that it was keen to “spare the Palestinian people any aggression, wide and comprehensive.”
He added: “A full-scale war will displace hundreds of thousands of people, create thousands of martyrs and demolish houses without guarantee that this will translate into political achievement in the hostile regional and international environment, and that is why Hamas is trying to avoid a major confrontation with Israel at this time.”
He said that Hamas is interested in reaching a long-term cease-fire to prevent Israeli assassinations, bombings and to end the siege of the Gaza Strip.
Regarding Hamas’ stance on the recent escalation, he said “Hamas has more equations and calculations than Islamic Jihad in terms of confrontation with Israel.”
Most of the military wings operating in the Gaza Strip formed a joint operations room to coordinate field positions in 2018.
Nasser Al-Suweir, a researcher in the affairs of Islamic movements, said that the recent escalation experience recalled the “confrontation and dissonance” that has characterized the relationship between the two movements.
Al-Suweir described the relationship between Hamas and PIJ as “fragile and not rooted,” and there may be a “big rift” if the jihad decide to withdraw from the joint operations room.

Hamas has more equations and calculations than Islamic Jihad in terms of confrontation with Israel.

Ibrahim Al-Madhoun, Political analyst

He said that Hamas’ view of the resistance is completely different from Islamic Jihad’s.
He added that Hamas’ distancing itself from the participation of Islamic Jihad in the recent confrontation caused a “big shock,” even in the speech of Secretary-General Ziad Al-Nakhala, who did not hesitate to say that “Jihad leads the battle alone” in the sense that “Hamas abandoned them.”
Al-Suweir said that “Hamas in governing is not the same as Hamas in resistance, which did not hesitate to exercise all forms of resistance in the early years of the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, and rejected all forms of truce with the occupation.