December 15, 2022
WILL HAMAS’ NEW STRATEGY BACKFIRE?
To celebrate its 35th anniversary, Hamas presented a special logo and slogan, “We Are Arriving as A Roaring Flood.”
Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007, has two political strategic objectives. It wants to position itself as a reliable regional and to crown itself as the unquestionable leader and representative of the Palestinian people, to beat its rival Fatah, the backbone of the Palestinian Authority (PA) government which rules most of the Palestinians in the West Bank.
Hamas believes the combination of a right-wing Israeli government, the deepening inner-Palestinian crisis, increasing criticism of the PA, and the escalating power struggle over Mahmoud Abbas’ successor, is the perfect storm.
Hamas’ strategy is to leverage this opportunity by fanning the flames of the conflict in the areas controlled by the PA – and leaving the Gaza Strip – ruled by Hamas – out of the circle of escalation.
But Hamas’ plan to instigate violence in the West Bank could backfire. By fueling the flames in the West Bank, Hamas could find itself in a serious dilemma that could drag it directly into a military collision with Israel and might even bring it directly into a serious domestic conflict with Islamic Jihad in Palestine – the 2nd most powerful player in Gaza.
Hamas’ strategy could find itself jeopardizing its rule in Gaza which would make all of its other objectives obsolete. Playing with fire – Hamas might get burned.
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