During the week-long war, 70 percent of Israelis ran to bomb shelters, as Hamas broke records for rocket fire.
By Rachel Brooks
May 16, 2021
Incoherent or pro-Islamist policies strain the Israel-Hamas conflict
The night of May 16 marked the first gatherings for Shavuot in Israel, where conflict between the Israeli state and the Islamist terrorist entity Hamas has raged for a week, following a police bust of a heated public protest in Al Aqsa mosque. Israel vowed to protect its citizens as sirens sang over festivities, hailing from Gaza without any reprieve. The rockets continue to break historic records of rocket fire into the Jewish state.
The Times of Israel, on May 16, reported a teleconference call between Esmail Ghaani, head of the Iranian Quds Force, and Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas. Ghaani had praised Haniyeh for the use of kamikaze drones in “answer to the Jewish state.” This conversation was confirmed by Al-Alam, the television outlet of the IRGC.
The call followed directly in the wake of a rally in Qatar where Haniyeh vowed to continue the Hamas incursion against “the Zionist” enemy. On May 16, Qatar’s Foreign Minister met with Haniyeh to reiterate Qatari support for the Hamas incursion, wrote Iqna out of Iran.
Thousands of people in Qatar gathered in support of Hamas at the Imam Muhammad bin Abdulwahhab Mosque in Doha. This was stated by the Qatari media publication The Penninsula.
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood appear poised to continue to back and support the heated rhetoric and the cause of Hamas, as Turkey’s president Erdogan reportedly made a call to Nigeria’s head of state Buhari, calling for Muslim support of the Hamas. Middle East Monitor confirmed that Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt had joined in a chorus of voices in the surrounding area that publicly condemned the Israeli use of force against Hamas.
They condemned directly the Israeli police raids into the Al Aqsa mosque, which was brought on by instigations of escalating protests in the mosque. The report stated that the Turkish president Erdogan made a conference call to the Qatari emir Al-Thani discussing a strengthening of bilateral relations, and calling for further condemnation of the Israeli side in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Qatar’s response to the fighting has been inconsistent amid the nation’s internal crisis with allegations of Islamism and political corruption. Qatar’s statements in condemnation of Israel are in contrast for its public position on humanitarian aid and calls of deescalation.
On May 16, the Qatari media outlet The Penninsula stated that the Qatari Red Crescent Society had announced the allocation of $1million in response to the “recent events in Palestine.” This was reported as a humanitarian mission, a rapid call of response. This follows a report by The Jerusalem Post on May 10 that Qatar was among a list of nations to condemn the use of violence by Hamas, which Haniyeh defended. Regarding political corruption, Qatar has had its public finance scandals recently exposed. Within the last week, Qatar arrested its finance minister Al-Emadi for alleged embezzlement. Bloomberg stated that within the past week Qatar has frozen the assets of six businessmen in a “crackdown” of “high ranking officials.”
As tensions increase between Israel and Hamas, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with the Gulf States leadership to discuss de-escalation, as was stated by Africa News Today, which cited a statement made by U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price. It was reported that Blinken met with officials of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Qatar, and France on issues of the West Bank, Gaza, and a permanent solution to the Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which reached a Russian-brokered ceasefire in November.
The American position has itself been inconsistent, adding to the tensions, as the U.S. sends mixed signals of both heated pro-Palestinian rhetoric, and the Biden administration’s statements regarding Israel’s right to self-defense.
As the incoherence on the public level continued, the war of words and information increased its tensions in the social sphere. Influencers spoke out against the weak or inflamatory public policy as well as the counter-productive biases in the current trial of public opinion.
Sarah Idan, former Miss Iraq, who has been a highly controversial figure in Iraqi politics after posing for a photo with Miss Israel, likewise came out with statements regarding recent hostilities. Idan has made speeches at the United Nations since she was embroiled in political controversy. She called out the UN’s support for the Iraqi regime’s human rights abuses.
On May 15, Idan commented on a private political source. The source confirmed that a leader of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh received $300 million from the Qatari leader Amir Bin Tamim. The Iranian ambassador and a Turkish official were present.
“Here we go. The alliance of Turkish/Qatari Muslim Brotherhood joining the Irani regime,” wrote Idan.
Idan has been critical of the rhetoric that rages around the Hamas and Israel conflict, as heated criticism comes in from all sides condemning Israel.
Human rights lawyer and security analyst Irina Tsukerman had likewise commented on this issue, expressing disgust at recent footage that emerged showing proof of the friendly relations between the Iranian regime and Hamas.
As Tsukerman expressed her opinions, she was likewise caught in the press of rhetoric and disinformation campaigns. Her name was placed on a list of “enemies” by private social media users, saying that she had “attacked pro-Palestinian protestors in Morocco” in response to a warning message she had written regarding a dangerous event of Islamist solidarity that was planned in Morocco violating recent lockdowns in the Kingdom.
Tsukerman’s name appeared on the list of Palestinian cause “enemies” alongside Omar Alaoui, a European-African political strategist. The building of target lists and social media campaigns against supporters of Israel’s statehood rights has become a common tool in the information warfare fueling the Israel-Hamas conflict.