Hamas Waits till the Last Shoe Drops

Posted on February 12, 2011

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Take that figuratively or literally . Maan reports that Hamas suppressed a pro-democracy demonstration in Khan Yunis before Mubarak resigned, finally allowing, and even encouraging, protesters to hit the streets in celebration in the aftermath of Omar Suleiman’s announcement.

Hamas congratulated the Egyptian people for their victory and called on the new Egyptian leadership to open Gaza.

“We consider the resignation of president Mubarak to be the start of the victory of the Egyptian revolution which we support with all its demands,” said the Palestinian Islamist movement’s spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri.

The toppling of Egypt’s strongman represented “the victory of the will of the Egyptian people and their sacrifices,” he told AFP, calling on the Egyptian army to support “the demands of the people and not let them be led astray.”

As the news rippled across the densely-populated coastal enclave ruled by Hamas, thousands of people rushed into the streets to celebrate, with cars honking their horns and celebratory busts of gunfire punctuating the night.

In Gaza City, gunmen from Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, began gathering in the centre for a celebration rally.

Similar gatherings were reported across the Gaza Strip as people responded to calls over loudspeakers to come and “join the celebrations with the Egyptian people.”

“Egypt has written a new page in the nation’s history,” Gaza’s Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya said, adding that the blockade of Gaza had “begun to weaken” with the collapse of Mubarak’s regime.

Hamas gets the benefit of the doubt for two reasons. First, they’re much more dependent on Egypt due to the Israeli blockade. I think it’s safe to say that their relationship with Egypt is based on the whim of the leadership there, as it remains unofficial and undocumented. That’s not just for power purposes. Gazans would really face a seriously bleak future without the income and food coming out of those tunnels. Second, the Fatah led PA predictably and cravenly keeps mum on the outcome.

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