Hamas would not take orders from Tehran in a war between Iran and Israel, according to a report in the Guardian that cites senior figures within the movement. “If there is a war between two powers, Hamas will not be part of such a war,” Salah Bardawil, a member of the organisation’s political bureau in Gaza City, told the Guardian.
Bardawil denied the group would launch rockets into Israel at Tehran’s request in response to a strike on its nuclear sites. “Hamas is not part of military alliances in the region, our strategy is to defend our rights,” he said. A second senior Hamas figure that declined to be named repeated Bardawil’s words. Hamas, he said, “would not get involved” in any war between Iran and Israel.
This stance underscores Hamas’s rift with its longtime key financial sponsor and its realignment with the Muslim Brotherhood and popular protest movements in the Arab world.
Nevertheless, despite the rift, Yedioth Ahronoth reports this morning that Hamas has established a secret new terrorist organisation in the Gaza Strip named the Defenders of El-Aksa. This organisation, according to the report, will be responsible for terror attacks against Israel that has recently been launched from the Gaza Strip and Sinai.
Since it took power in the Gaza Strip, Hamas has sought to create a pragmatic image for itself on the international arena whilst at the same time not abandoning its military activity. The establishment of this organization, headed by Fathi Hamad the interior minister of the Gaza Strip government, is the solution that the group found, to pursue both paths.
According to the report, In the past months the operatives of the Defenders of El-Aksa have fired rockets and placed bombs on the Israel-Gaza border, without causing Hamas to suffer the political reverberations.