Israeli armored personnel carriers drive outside the Gaza Strip, July 15, 2014.
Nir Elias / Courtesy Reuters

The similarities between this month’s hostilities between Hamas and Israel and those during their last major confrontation, in November 2012, are striking. Hamas and other Palestinian groups fire rockets deep into Israel, and the Iron Dome defense system knocks the projectiles out of the sky. Israel launches aerial strikes on densely populated areas of the Gaza Strip, and militants there shoot rockets back at Israeli civilians. 

Yet one thing has changed: the relationship between Hamas and Egypt. In the fall of 2012, Hamas was able to count on the political support of the Egyptian government of President Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader. The rise of the Brotherhood in Egypt earlier that year had simultaneously provided Hamas with a new regional ally and redefined relations between the group and Egypt, moving from the mutual deep-seated suspicion and antagonism of the Mubarak years to a relationship built on shared political ideals and

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  • BENEDETTA BERTI is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Ben-Gurion University, a Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University, and the author of Armed Political Organizations. Follow her on Twitter @benedettabertiw. ZACK GOLD is an Adjunct Fellow at the American Security Project and author of the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center analysis paper “Sinai Security: Opportunities for Unlikely Cooperation Among Egypt, Israel, and Hamas.” Follow him on Twitter @ZLGold.
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