Gaza Is Not About to Become an Islamic State – Matthew Levitt (New Republic)
(dailyalert.org, Aug. 8, 2014)
U.S. Army Lt. General Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said, “If Hamas were destroyed and gone, we would probably end up with something much worse.” The good news is, he’s wrong.
The extreme Salafi-jihadi groups in Gaza exist at the fringes of Palestinian society. They will find it far more difficult to seize power in the first place, much less govern if in power.
These groups lack the grassroots political, charitable and social services that are the backbone of Hamas.
Gazan Salafi-jihadis are more concerned with violent methods of establishing a transnational Islamic state, while Hamas has consciously focused its efforts on creating a Palestinian state that is Islamist in nature, not a transnational caliphate.
So long as Gaza is not left as a festering wound and a political vacuum, there is no reason for hysterical predictions of an Islamic State in Gaza.
The writer is a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.