The Axis of Resistance to Israel Is Breaking Up

(Foreign Policy) Anchal Vohra - Iran's axis of resistance to Israel once comprised Hizbullah, Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad's regime. As Hamas backed the anti-Assad rebels in the Syrian conflict, the resistance broke apart. Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Back in 2012, Hamas was inspired by the success of the Muslim Brotherhood in placing their man, Mohamed Morsi, as president of Egypt, and hoped to cash in on the triumph of its parent organization by siding with them on the Syrian battlefield. But Hamas lost the gamble. Morsi was ousted in a coup in July 2013, and in Syria, too, they were eventually defeated by Assad and his Russian allies. Hamas' rejection of Assad cost the community dearly. Assad's intelligence services imprisoned thousands of Palestinians it suspected of sympathizing with the Syrian rebels or who advocated political Islam. "Bashar al-Assad considered Hamas' refusal to support him as a stab in the back and perceived the whole community as unwanted guests in Syria," said one activist who subsequently moved to the UK. "They chased Palestinians everywhere." Analysts say Assad's strong relationship with Russia and growing ties with the UAE, both of which want Syria to come to terms with Israel, has impacted the regime's thinking. Rami al-Sayed, a former human rights activist from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, said, "It's not impossible we will see a formal normalization between the regime and Israel very soon."

2021-03-04 00:00:00

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