July 8, 2013 | Quote

Morsi’s Fall ‘Nightmare Scenario for Hamas’

The startling fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has threatened to undermine Hamas's capacity for fighting Israel and weakened its grip on Gaza, analysts say.

Leaders in the Palestinian Islamist movement had hoped the rise of the Brotherhood would help to end its international isolation and strengthen support in the region. But after the military removed Egypt's democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, and arrested members of the Muslim Brotherhood, such a future looks increasingly uncertain.

“This is a nightmare scenario for Hamas,” said Mkhaimar Abusada, professor of political science at Al Azhar University in Gaza. “If you look at the whole region, it's not nearly as friendly to Hamas as it was just a few weeks, even days, ago.”

Some see Mr Morsi's ousting as possibly strengthening the resolve of not only hardliners in Egypt's Brotherhood, but also those in Hamas, against democratic rule. The latter swept Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006, only to see Fatah, Israel and the international community undermine that victory.

“The perception now among Islamists? Democracy is fine so long as the Brotherhood doesn't win at the ballot box,” said Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation of Defense of Democracies, a think tank in Washington.

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Issues:

Egypt Palestinian Politics