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August 24th, 2013
The lead article in today’s New York Times, “Pressure Rises on Hamas as Patrons’ Support Fades,” shows that the terrorist organization is isolated after losing the backing of Syrian and Iran (it supported the Sunni opposition), and the overthrow of Muhamad Morsi in Egypt.
The isolation has tangible costs. With the Rafah border crossing to Egypt closed by the generals, the population is missing cheap gasoline and other commodities. Meanwhile, the Hamas government is facing a shortfall of $250 million.
That has led to some strutting by the Palestinian Authority, to the extent of calling Gaza a rebel province. Still with Hamas control of the security apparatus in Gaza, it may be difficult to remove them.
The border crossing had other ramifications as well, splitting apart couples and providing one more obstacle to daily living in addition to shortages and electricity outages. At some point, the Gaza population will demand more, and they will become irresistible.
With Israeli Palestinian peace talks on the horizon, the role of Hamas in Gaza becomes more urgent. How can they come to a peace agreement when one of the parties is not represented, and who have refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist? What good does peace on one border bring when rockets rain down down from the other?
The Hamas conundrum must be solved.
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