BEIRUT: Hamas is waging three wars at the same time, all deeply intertwined. Each of these wars requires top-notch military and political capabilities, advanced organizational abilities and suitable objective circumstances, all of which are neither present in nor available to the Hamas movement.
Nevertheless, it insists on completing its struggle on all three fronts, in a manner that resembles suicide, which does not disagree with its ideology.
However, such a decision involves the fate of an entire people, whether they are disaster-stricken in Gaza or besieged in the West Bank, and harms a cause for which much blood has been shed in order for it to become what it is today.
The first war is the bloody one against Israel, which can be seen as a legitimate war of resistance against an occupation force. However, the timing and the method for bringing about change are clearly not taking up a great part of the planning, predictions and strategies of Hamas. Indeed, the movement is waging a war that is not in the nature of resistance movements, and one that does not serve its social environment, which should represent its human, moral and political support.
Indeed, after Hamas took by force the role of the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip and expelled its representatives, it effectively became responsible for the security of the one and a half million Palestinians who inhabit it, whether these people are its supporters or ordinary citizens.
Did the Hamas movement think of them when it decided to end the truce? Did it discuss the possibilities of Israel s response to its rocket attacks? Did it consult the people of Gaza? Did it ask them for their opinion concerning their fate? Or did it consider itself their sole representative, who can thereby take decisions in their name? Furthermore, is it sufficient for Hamas to address the people of Gaza with a religious mobilizing speech, one similar to the speeches one hears in mosques, to absolve itself of responsibility and accountability?
Hamas succeeded in confronting Israeli forces when these were still occupying Gaza, and when it was an invisible force, as resistance movements are supposed to be. However, it did not take into consideration the responsibilities that it would come to bear when it took over Gaza by force. Indeed, it continued to wage its war in the same manner, without modifying or adapting its tactics and its strategies, although it should have known that its enemy would intentionally target civilians as a means to pressure it.
The second war waged by the Hamas movement is one that affects the Palestinians themselves, starting with the bloody coup in Gaza, and up to the present, where it considers that it has become, after the current Israeli offensive, the sole legitimate Palestinian authority, as stated by some of its leaders. In other words, the movement seeks to effectively strike out the long history of Palestinian struggle, and to exclude any party, even one as sizable as the Fatah movement, that does not conform to the principle of ongoing confrontation it calls for with reckless futility. As if the history of the Palestinian resistance had started and ended with Hamas, it not only refuses to allow Palestinian Authority staff to return to Gaza and administer the border crossings, but demands a share in the administration of the West Bank as well.
Hamas s third war is the war of regional coalitions. Indeed, the Hamas movement, that represents part of the Palestinian people, has chosen to join the Syrian-Iranian coalition in the face of the forces of Arab moderation.
However, the movement s supposed allies have given it, in the present confrontation, nothing but verbal support, while doing nothing that would reduce the pressure it is subjected to. Despite that fact, it continued to reject the Egyptian initiative which sought to provide a ceasefire that would save what remained of Gaza, under the pretext that it was victorious and that it would not accept terms that would make it appear defeated.
Hamas insists on pursuing its three wars indefinitely and at any cost. However, as it is evident from the situation on the field, these wars are much greater than Hamas itself.
Hassan Haidar is an opinion writer for Dar Al Hayat. This article is distributed by the Common Ground News Service (CGNews) with permission from Dar Al-Hayat.