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At a rally for Hamas in Gaza, a spokesman for the group warned that the continued blockade on the area “will push Hamas to carry out actions which could be described as crazy.” When it comes to Hamas, such rhetoric is par for the course—except for one thing: the target of the group's threat was not Israel. Demonstrators were there to protest Egyptian policies.
The similarities between this month’s hostilities between Hamas and Israel and those during their last major confrontation, in November 2012, are striking. Yet one thing has changed: the relationship between Hamas and Egypt.
Even as Egypt’s generals continue their violent crackdown on supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, Israel has been lobbying the international community to give the military its full backing. But as Sinai descends into chaos, Israel might find that it was better off with Morsi in power.
Egypt's Salafi parties sacrificed their principles to back Abdel Moneim Abou el-Fatouh in their country's presidential elections. But his downfall will likely discourage such bargaining in the future, holding back the rise of a pragmatic political center in Egypt.