By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
The new Middle East is full of surprises.
In the Middle East, just like Machiavelli said, people act in their own best interests. No country acts altruistically. No leader acts on behalf of global issues or, even, out of pan-Arab concern.
In the Middle East leaders act to better secure their own leadership
So when the Arab magazine Al-Watan Al-Arabi reported that "Hamas men have been detained in recent months by state security forces while trying to enter the Beirut airport with fake documents" no one who understands the Middle East should have been surprised.
The magazine reported that: "The suspects tried to transfer a large sum of money from the Beirut Hamas headquarters to an unidentified source. Recently, it was claimed, Hamas managed to recruit a Lebanese weapons dealer in order to transfer advanced weapons to the Gaza Strip."
The Lebanese are clamping down on Hamas. They are doing this for the sake of better trade, especially with Egypt. But Lebanon is also worried. They do not want to call attention to themselves from Russia, the US or the Iranians.
Russia, the United States and Iran would all be very interested if arms were to be transferred out of Lebanon en route to Gaza. Rather than try to keep the operation hush hush, their next best option was to simply shut down the arms transfer.
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