As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues in spite of efforts by Egypt to broker a cease-fire
, Middle East expert Walid Phares says that Hamas is really fighting with Israel because of Egypt.
"The most important reason for Hamas to engage in this confrontation has nothing to do actually with Israel or with events inside Gaza," Phares told John Bachman and Miranda Khan on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV
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"Ironically, it has to do with Egypt because Hamas was the ally of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Brotherhood was toppled in Egypt," he explained.
The Middle East expert explained that leading up to the conflict between Hamas and Israel, "the Egyptian army was getting closer and closer in the Sinai Peninsula over the last few months and they have detected that Hamas is involved in terrorism in Egypt."
According to Phares, the "attorney generals, in Egypt were about to issue warrants for arrests of leaders from Hamas."
"So the best way for Hamas to get away from the Egyptian trap was to wage a war against Israelis," he explained. "By doing so, then Egypt will stop, then the Arab world will side with Hamas, and the bad guy will become Israel and Hamas' acts in Egypt will be forgotten or erased for the time being."
While Egypt has been successful in negotiating cease-fires in the past, Phares explained that the last time that was done was in 2012 under former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, "the head of the Muslim Brotherhood."
Phares is the author of "The Lost Spring: US Policy in the Middle East and Catastrophes to Avoid
," which came out in March.
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