The Hamas Veto

GAZA CITY – The resumption of direct peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis has broken 20 months of stalemate, and marked the entry of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu into this round of diplomacy. But these difficult talks face significant challenges from outside the negotiating room, particularly from Hamas, which is intent on ensuring that nothing happens without its approval.

Hamas refuses all direct peace negotiations with Israel, and has vowed to derail the current talks through violence. Their first blow came on the eve of the talks, when the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, carried out an ambush on Israeli settlers in Hebron, killing four people.