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Iran Grabs the Reins in Gaza – Pinhas Inbari (JCPA via Daily Alert)

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Feb. 15, 2017

  • Iran Grabs the Reins in Gaza – Pinhas Inbari
    Hamas has chosen Yahya Sinwar, one of the security prisoners released in the “Shalit deal” in 2011, as its senior leader in Gaza. The implication of the selection means that Iran has retaken the reins in Gaza after a long hiatus during which Egypt, on one hand, and Turkey and Qatar, on the other, tried to fill the vacuum.
    Iran chose to take back the reins in Gaza because of the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president. Iran fears that in Wednesday’s talks in Washington, Trump and Netanyahu will discuss an aggressive option vis-a-vis Iran.
    It is doubtful if any “elections” were held in Gaza to choose Sinwar. The result is due to pressure by Hamas’ military wing on the political wing, and the announcement’s timing is Iran’s way of conveying a message before the Trump-Netanyahu talks.
    If that’s the case, don’t expect that Sinwar’s “election” foretells a new escalation from Gaza against Israel – just the opposite. Iran will restrain Hamas in order to keep the Gaza front available for Iran’s own needs, and Iran’s alone. The writer is a veteran Arab affairs correspondent for Israel Radio and is an analyst for the Jerusalem Center. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
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