Emad El Din Adeeb
Asharq Alawsat (Opinion)
February 29, 2012 - 1:00am

I recently met with Khaled Mishal, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, at a special dinner in Cairo.

The conversation was heated and extremely candid on both sides, and there was no agreement between us regarding the publication of its contents. However, I maintain the right to make some remarks that do not violate the rules of our meeting.

I must emphasize here that throughout this conversation, I became aware of many of the details that govern the rules of decision-making within Hamas, in light of the exceptional circumstances of the Israeli occupation that has no measure of humanity or respect for the norms of human dealings.

I also realized the formidable challenges that Palestinian decision-makers face, both inside and outside of Gaza, with regards to the difficult daily economic conditions of the Palestinian citizens in these areas.

Yet the point that I wish to dwell upon is the sense of Arab negativity towards the sufferings of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank, who are besieged by occupation on the one hand, and poverty and starvation on the other. The repercussions of the "Arab Spring", which currently preoccupy global capital cities and the major states in the region, must not distract us from the gravity of the volatile situation in the areas under the control of Palestinian Authority, or in those under occupation. This goes for what happened recently at the site of the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, to the systematic Israeli operations to re-arrest the released prisoners.

It is my conviction that Hamas' role in the future will increase in direct proportion to the rise of the ruling Islamic currents in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, and soon in Syria.

Such changes will give Hamas growing political, dynamic and financial support, in light of the new regimes that share the same frame of reference in the Muslim Brotherhood.

As for Khaled Mishal himself, he is an independent case with an Islamic frame of reference. In 1971, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood – its Palestinian wing – and performed a key role in organizing dozens of leaderships for the movement. In 1987, he became a member of the Hamas Political Bureau, and in 1996 he was elected as Chairman.

The coming months will witness unprecedented and fundamental changes in the balance of the Palestinian political powers. Major Arab capital cities will soon be required to deal with these powers with a greater degree of awareness, flexibility and speed. In short, the coming phase will belong to Hamas, and its main focal point will be Khaled Mishal.


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