The Emerging Hamas-Houthi Alliance Threatens Both Israel and Arab States

July 23 2020

Last week, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas politburo, sent a letter to the leaders of the Yemenite Houthi rebels—a group whose motto is “Allah is great; death to America; death to Israel; curse the Jews; victory to Islam!”—calling for an alliance. Khaled Abu Toameh, noting that the two groups are backed by Iran to varying degrees, comments:

Haniyeh’s letter to the Houthi leadership is clearly part of Hamas’s effort to enlist the Yemeni group for attacks on Israel. Hamas seems to be hoping that its alliance with the Houthi movement might stop some Arab countries from normalizing their relations with Israel.

Hamas’s leaders have repeatedly expressed deep concern over the apparent rapprochement between some Gulf states and Israel. . . . Some Arabs. [however], are now voicing extreme unease over the cooperation between Hamas and the Houthi movement. They say it would strengthen Iran’s terrorist proxies and cause a further deterioration of the situation in war-torn Yemen.

The “price” Iran is demanding for its financial and military aid is that Hamas remain a loyal proxy and carry out all instructions it receives from Tehran, including meddling in the internal affairs of Arab states and launching terrorist attacks against Israel.

The Hamas-Houthi alliance also shows that Iran is seeking to expand the terrorist activities of its agents in the Gaza Strip, Yemen. and Lebanon not only against Israel and the U.S., but against Arab and Islamic states as well.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Hamas, Iran, Middle East, Yemen


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy