Hamas Searches for a New Strategy – Ehud Yaari
(dailyalert.org, Oct. 14, 2014)
Hamas’ Executive Council is taking a hard look at the realities it faces. Gaza’s local Hamas leadership, under growing pressure from residents, pushed Hamas’ top leader, Khaled Mashal, to accept a cease-fire long before he himself was willing to drop his preferred terms in return for a cessation of hostilities. The main conclusion for Hamas is that beyond the bombastic rhetoric about the “success of the resistance,” its military strategy has proven self-defeating.
The tendency among most in Hamas’ leadership council is to finally accept that Gaza offers only limited opportunities for escalating the struggle against Israel. Mashal has explicitly stressed the far greater importance of the West Bank and east Jerusalem for any military undertakings, reflecting a recognition of the limited opportunities offered by Gaza for future military assaults.
As Hamas is prepared to give up its monopoly of governance in Gaza, in return, Hamas aspires to receive a much wider scope for operating in the West Bank. Hamas would tolerate reemergence of Fatah activities in Gaza as the price for opening the West Bank’s gates to Hamas, including permission for political mobilization, which will serve as a cover for resurrecting underground military networks. The writer is a fellow of The Washington Institute and a Middle East commentator for Israel’s Channel 2 TV. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)