Report: Hamas militiamen helped prop up Morsi

According to Khaled Abu Toameh at the Gatestone Institute website, there are reports that Hamas dispatched as many as 7,000 militiamen from Gaza to protect the regime of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi who faces a popular uprising. The reports quoted unidentified Egyptian security officials as saying that the Hamas militiamen had been spotted in the Egyptian border town of Rafah before they headed toward Cairo to shore up the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Morsi, which Hamas may have feared was in danger of collapse. The officials claimed that the Hamas militiamen had been deployed in a number of sensitive locations in the Egyptian capital, including the Al-Ittihadiyeh Presidential Palace.

These reports find support in documents published this week by a Gulf newspaper, Akhbar Al-Khaleej, that purport to show that Hamas, with the financial backing of Qatar, had plans to send hundreds of militiamen to Egypt to help Morsi’s regime. One of the classified documents, signed by Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin al-Kassam, talks about the need to send “warriors to help our brothers in Egypt who are facing attempts by the former regime [of Hosni Mubarak] to return to power.”

Hamas would, of course, have every reason to supply Morsi with shock troops, and not just because of their ideological afinity. As Toameh reminds us:

The downfall of the Mubarak regime has been a great blessing for Hamas, which has since emerged as a major player in the Palestinian and regional arena. Thanks to Morsi, an Egyptian prime minister visited the Gaza Strip for the first time ever last November to express solidarity with Hamas during Israel’s “Pillar of Defense” military operation. Such a visit would have been unthinkable under Mubarak, who did everything he could to weaken Hamas and stop it from meddling in the internal affairs of Egypt.

But now Hamas knows that it can always rely on Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to stay in power and increase Hamas’s influence. In return, Morsi apparently expects Hamas to reward him by sending its men to defend his palace.

Jonathan Tobin concludes:

The Hamas connection should send a chill down the spines of anyone who still held onto hope that the Arab Spring would produce more, rather than less, freedom for Egypt. But it should also remind Americans that they are still sending more than $1 billion a year in U.S. aid and selling F-16 aircraft to Morsi’s Egypt. Members of Congress who continue to back this foolish policy need to ask themselves whether it makes sense to funnel taxpayer dollars to Egypt in the hope of supporting regional stability if what they are really doing is bolstering a government that depends on Hamas terrorists to stay in power.

And while they are at it, members of the Senate should insist that Chuck Hagel, as a condition of a vote on his confirmation, produce the information that will tell us whether he received money from “Friends of Hamas” or like-minded outfits.

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