Reading Palestinian Responses to Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration

| December 8, 2017

The PA and Hamas are hopeful that unorganized Palestinian youth will mobilize against President Trump’s declaration acknowledging that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. A groundswell from the streets would preclude the necessity for the two organizations to actively take the lead. However, the readers of al-Quds, the Palestinian silent majority, are loath to sacrifice their sons on behalf of the warring factions.

Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation: Resistance as an Expression of Faith

There is an expectation that the reconciliation trend between Fatah and Hamas will lead to the disarmament of the resistance, but the idea of resistance will remain whether it is armed or not.

The IDF’s Gaza Wall Might Change Hamas Strategy

| October 12, 2017

Time may be running out for one of Hamas’s main weapons against Israel: its cross-border terror tunnels. As Hamas loses its potency against Israel in Gaza, it is turning its attention to fanning the flames of terrorism in the West Bank.

Victory, Not Deterrence, Will Be Israel’s Goal if War Breaks Out Again in Gaza

| August 26, 2017

Creating deterrence was Israel’s goal in the last three conflicts it fought against Hamas, but that objective has been cast aside. Any future armed clash with Gaza’s Islamist rulers will be guided by a new Israeli objective: that of achieving a crystal clear victory over the enemy.

Don’t Dismantle UNRWA; Reform Its Policies

| August 9, 2017

The desire of Prime Minister Netanyahu to dismantle UNRWA, while understandable in light of the agency’s egregious history of collusion with Hamas, is not a practical proposition. Israel can, however, demand that funding to UNRWA be conditioned on the agency’s reform in multiple areas.

Hamas’s Irrational Rationale

The Gaza Strip’s rulers do not subscribe to governmental norms and are indifferent to their people’s hardships, but the notion that Gazans will rise up against them is false. Still, reports of Hamas’s eagerness for war with Israel are greatly exaggerated.

Hamas: Striking the Right Balance

Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip, is under pressure from three sides: less electricity, lower salaries, and reduced economic aid. It might be tempting for Israel to take advantage of these pressures to compel Hamas to rein in its military expenditures – but the less Hamas feels it has to lose, the more combustible Gaza becomes.

Hamas: Another Failed Palestinian Organization

| May 14, 2017

Mounting evidence suggests that Hamas, viewed as either a terrorist movement or as a government, is one more failed Palestinian organization. It is recognized as such by Gaza’s inhabitants, who no longer show up to their rallies. Its lack of popularity is one reason for the small concessions contained in its recently published document. More concessions will come as popular pressure mounts. Israel should be patient, as time is on its side.

For Hamas, Nothing Has Changed

It is difficult for Westerners to understand how intertwined religious and political imperatives are for people who subscribe to the Islamic faith. They feel compelled to fulfill their religious duties within the political arena and believe their experience in the political world teaches them how to practically implement their religion. Westerners should resist the temptation to infer too much into recent moves by Hamas, including a revised charter and a change of leadership. The tune might be changing slightly, but the song remains the same.

The New Hamas Policy Document: Same Old Same Old (Mostly)

The new Hamas policy document, which is meant to complement, rather than replace, the Hamas Covenant of 1988, does not in any way depart from what the movement believes to be the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to a state “from the river to the sea”. The document declares both the Balfour Declaration and the UN Partition Resolution of 1947 “null and void”, and makes clear that the Palestinian state – to be achieved piecemeal if necessary – is to be created at the expense of the very existence of the Jewish State. While the text is not by any means a breakthrough, it does contain a few indications that pressure on Hamas can eventually bear fruit.