NBC: 'Without Friends' In Middle East, Hamas Forced to 'Negotiate With Its Enemies'

In a report for Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel declared that "Gazans tried to put their lives back together" during a cease-fire with Israel and said of the Palestinian terrorist group that spurred the conflict: "Hamas, after a month of punishment, realized it was nearly without friends in the region. Especially Egypt, its Arab neighbor and former ally." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Engel explained: "This is Gaza's crossing into Egypt. Throughout this war, Hamas's main demand has been to open it, but it's still closed. Hamas has enemies in Israel and in the military-led government in Egypt." Strange that NBC never reported on the isolation of Hamas until after the violence subsided.

After describing how Egyptian President Sisi "loathes Hamas," Engel highlighted one Palestinian man "as angry with Egypt as he was with Israel." The man ranted that "Egypt didn't help us" and "Sisi is an Israeli agent."

Engel wrapped up the segment by proclaiming: "Trapped between Israeli bombs and tanks, and Egypt's sealed border, Hamas had little choice but to negotiate with its enemies."

Earlier in the conflict, Engel worried that Hamas would get "nothing" from a cease-fire.


Here is a full transcript of the August 5 report:

7:12 PM ET

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Overseas now to the war in the Middle East. There were hopes that this current cease-fire, number eight, would be different. And so far it has held. Israel has used the break in fighting to take its ground forces out of Gaza, after fighting that has now gone on for four weeks today. Our chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel reports tonight from Rafah in southern Gaza.

RICHARD ENGEL: After a month of bitter fighting, Israeli troops today finally pulled out of Gaza. Gazans tried to put their lives back together. Markets filled up, fishermen were back at work. So what changed? Israel accomplished its stated goal of destroying Hamas's tunnels. And just in time, because Washington was losing patience as Palestinian civilian casualties mounted.

Hamas, after a month of punishment, realized it was nearly without friends in the region. Especially Egypt, its Arab neighbor and former ally. This is Gaza's crossing into Egypt. Throughout this war, Hamas's main demand has been to open it, but it's still closed. Hamas has enemies in Israel and in the military-led government in Egypt.

Egypt's President Sisi loathes Hamas, which is part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi ousted the brotherhood from power in Egypt and has been putting its members in jail.

In Gaza, as he picked through the rubble of his home today, Shoti Najar was as angry with Egypt as he was with Israel. "Egypt didn't help us," he said. "Sisi is an Israeli agent." Trapped between Israeli bombs and tanks, and Egypt's sealed border, Hamas had little choice but to negotiate with its enemies. Richard Engel, NBC News, Gaza.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC