Unraveling the Influence of Hamas through Foreign Policy: An Analysis

The group Hamas carried out a massacre on October 7. However, despite the killing of civilians and kidnapping of civilians, the group has not suffered diplomatic setbacks in the Middle East. It also has not suffered much globally. Many countries did not condemn the Hamas crimes. The Hamas leadership, hosted by Qatar for many years, has been able to travel around the Middle East with ease. Meetings in Turkey and now in Egypt illustrate how Hamas continues to hold power using its foreign policy. Hamas leaders have spent years cultivating their image via foreign media and contacts in various countries in order to advance their agenda. Another Hamas official, Ghazi Hamad gave an interview to NBC in November. Basem Naim also gave an interview to Sky News in October. Hamas official Osama Hamdan has said Hamas would carry out October 7 again if given the chance.

Recently, Hamas leaders held a meeting in Turkey, according to Israel’s national broadcaster KAN. Deputy Chairman of the Political Bureau of Hamas Saleh al-Arouri, and former Hamas chief Khaled Mashal, attended. Arouri came from Beirut, while Mashal came from Doha. After that meeting, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Doha on Wednesday, Iran International reported. He spoke with Turkey’s foreign minister the next day. Hamas has also done significant outreach to Russia since October 7. They have spoken to Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov about issues over the last two months, according to reports. Now Haniyeh is in Cairo to discuss issues in Gaza. Haniyeh, who is accompanied by a delegation from Hamas, is scheduled to meet with the head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel, according to Al-Ain media. The larger story here is that Hamas has secured influence for itself in the wake of October 7. The attack on Israel, massacre of civilians, and brutality, have not diminished support for Hamas or its ability to score high level meetings. In the opposite, it appears to have more leverage now.

China, for instance, does not condemn Hamas and has not played a role in confronting the Houthi attacks or helping ships in distress due to the attacks. This reveals that some countries believe they can benefit from Hamas and its backers in Iran sowing chaos in the region. The group has done extensive outreach and is sending its leaders around the region and holding court at various meetings. Every time Hamas has a high level meeting, and the Abbas government in Ramallah does not have a similar meeting, the PA is diminished. This is clear in their various attempts to pretend to “moderate” over the years, which was used to lure Israel into a false sense of security before October 7 in which Hamas appeared to be isolated and deterred. Subsequent developments show how the group has been able to use foreign policy to achieve goals. So far, it has not suffered a major setback on the diplomatic front.