While Israel's response to incessant rocket fire from Gaza drew the requisite condemnations from the Arab world and some in the international community, Arab media is increasingly open in criticizing Hamas for instigating the violence.
Media in Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt blame Hamas' actions for inviting Israeli counter attacks and prioritizing conflict over the safety of the Gazan population and criticized the leadership for waging war far from the conflict, a Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) report shows.
After Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal criticized Egyptian inaction in Gaza, Egyptian columnists responded emphatically.
"[Meshaal], we are tired of defending the [Palestinian] cause that you have sold for cheap to an MB (Muslim Brotherhood) gang whose way you followed even though they have lost their [own] way," wrote columnist Hamdi Razaq. He also called Meshaal out for living in luxurious Qatari hotels instead of fighting in Gaza.
Hamas is losing its legitimacy because it was sacrificing Palestinians while using financial aid to promote its interests, wrote Al-Gumhouriyya columnist Nagla Al-Sayyid.
"All the Hamas leaders are doing – as they sit securely in their hiding places while leaving the people of Gaza alone under the fire of the Israeli shelling – is collecting donations in order to use them in the service of their ideas and the political [faction to which] they belong, while allowing the real enemy, the oppressive Zionist enemy, to fight innocents," Al-Sayyid wrote, adding that Hamas has shown itself to be "an imbecilic and failed movement."
Hamas has caused more Palestinian suffering than Israel has, Egyptian journalist Kamal Gabriel wrote:
"These Palestinian gangs plunder the cause of the oppressed Palestinian people by repeatedly reenacting the story of Samson, who brought down the [Philistine] temple on his and everyone else's heads. They do this in their own country and in every country that hosts them – in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Kuwait. These organizations have become a curse on the Palestinian people..."
In Saudi Arabia, columnist Nasser Al-Sarami urged people not to be deceived by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood's intentions. "While the poor, defenseless people... stand exposed to rockets and tanks, the jihadi and Brotherhood leaderships flee to the fortified holes they prepared for themselves. This, in addition to the leaderships that are based in countries outside the conflict zone, hundreds of miles away... This is the [Muslim] Brotherhood, the leaders of Hamas and the savage organizations. Beware of them!"
While Hamas rejected an Egyptian proposed ceasefire and continues to fire rockets into Israel, the Arab world appears to be increasingly frustrated with the terrorist organization's thirst for war.
To see the full MEMRI report, and more examples, click here.