Hamas would like to see greater involvement by Qatar and Turkey in mediating a ceasefire with Israel, an Arab daily reported on Wednesday.
Sources close to the Islamic movement told Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat that Hamas was “angry” with Egypt for not consulting it before proposing a ceasefire initiative Monday which Israel accepted and Hamas tacitly rejected by firing dozens of missiles into Israel throughout Tuesday.
“There is a stream in Hamas which would now like to see more mediation, and the involvement of other parties such as Qatar and Turkey. It would like them to oversee the ceasefire, alongside Egypt,” the daily’s source claimed.
An Israeli security official told journalists on Monday that Hamas was divided between its local leadership in Gaza, which inclined toward a ceasefire, and its overseas leadership, which opted for continued confrontation. A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported “clear discrepancies” between the positions of Hamas domestically and abroad.
Other analysts view the divide as existing primarily between the movement’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades — which has maintained a consistently belligerent position — and the movement’s political wing.
The Israeli official said that Qatar and Turkey have so far played marginal roles in attempting to end the exchange of fire.
Speaking to A-Sharq Al-Awsat, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum indicated that Egypt was colluding with Israel in isolating Hamas.
“Egypt is at the heart of previous solutions and we aren’t opposed to it remaining there, but there are three agreements reached in the past with many clauses. Why don’t Egypt and Israel adhere to those clauses?” Barhoum wondered.
“Despite this, we continue to hope for an Egyptian role that satisfies the aspirations of the Palestinian people. But whoever wants to help Egypt, we won’t oppose them. We want all Arabs and Muslims to intervene.”
Ahead of Operation Protective Edge, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan, reportedly requesting him to intercede with Israel and prevent it from launching a military operation in Gaza. Erdogan, who will host Abbas in Ankara on Friday, called the Israeli operation “state terrorism.”