GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — In an interview with Al-Monitor, Ahmed Yousef, former political adviser to deputy chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said that Hamas is making unremitting efforts to spare the Gaza Strip a new war with Israel. He denied the existence of a direct dialogue with Israel, pointing out that Western envoys are in contact with Hamas.
Yousef, 65, every now and then gives bold opinions on the negotiations with Israel, the future of a potential reconciliation with Fatah and international relations, to market Hamas positions regionally and internationally. He heads the House of Wisdom Institution for Conflict Resolution and Governance in Gaza, and he hosts meetings with Western delegates who come to Gaza from time to time. Yousef is considered “Hamas’ gate” to the West in light of his extensive relations, having lived many years in the United States. He studied at an American university and he was an activist with US-based Islamic institutions before he held senior positions, including as executive director of the United Association for Studies and Research for 10 years.