Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Hamas' Strategy to Spread Out of Gaza
Hamas Searches for a New Strategy - Ehud Yaari
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)
Hamas Determined to Retain Gaza Grip - Avi Issacharoff
While Hamas has stated that the Palestinian unity government will oversee the reconstruction of Gaza, Hamas has no intention of relinquishing practical control over the strip. Its police and military hierarchies will continue to operate throughout Gaza, and Abbas' PA security forces will not, except perhaps at the border crossings.
Meanwhile, the Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades has launched a recruitment drive. Last Thursday the brigades held a large military parade in Shejaiya - intended to convey a clear message to the residents of Gaza: the "resistance" is not about to disarm.
(Times of Israel)