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FROM THE ANTHOLOGY: Clueless in Gaza

Where Hamas Goes From Here

Time To Regroup or Rupture

Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniya delivers a speech after the conflict in Gaza. Ahmed Zakot / Courtesy Reuters

Once again, Hamas has been spared from making the difficult political choice that faces most resistance movements when they gain power: whether to focus on the fight or to govern. Since it won the Palestinian elections in 2006 and then took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas has been free to pursue a middle course, resisting Israel while blaming its political failures on its cold war with Fatah and on Israel's blockade. Now Hamas will tout the concessions it won from Israel last week -- as part of the ceasefire, Israel agreed to open the border crossings to Gaza, suspend its military operations there, and end targeted killings -- as proof that it should not give up fighting. Meanwhile, the outcome should be enough to buy Hamas cover for its poor record of governance and allow it to again defer making tough choices about statehood, negotiations, regional alliances, and military

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