GAZA CITY – Hamas, the militant political movement that has ruled Gaza since 2007, has emerged from the latest round of fighting with Israel with its regional status significantly enhanced. At the same time, the movement faces new questions about its ability to take advantage of the diplomatic opportunities that it has gained.
Hamas’s forceful response to Israel’s military operation in Gaza in November, which included landing rockets near Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, demonstrated its commitment to its core value of steadfastness. Moreover, in the wake of the eight-day clash, Hamas’s long-exiled leader, Khaled Meshal, who had never before dared to show himself openly to Israel, entered Gaza from Egypt. Parading triumphantly through the streets, he reinforced the idea – at home and abroad – that Hamas had been victorious.