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Hamas surprises Israel

Western analysts misjudged the actions of a desperate Hamas, which considers honor and face-saving above all, launching an attack against Israel when it has nothing to lose.
An ultra-Orthodox Jew speaking on a mobile phone gestures in front of a fire that broke out after a rocket landed near the southern town of Sderot July 9, 2014. Israeli air strikes shook Gaza every few minutes on Wednesday, and militants kept up rocket fire at Israel's heartland in intensifying warfare that Palestinian officials said has killed at least 37 people in the Hamas-dominated enclave. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY CIVIL UNREST RELIGION) - RTR3XTBG
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Before the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas senior official Mahmoud al-Zahar and the spokesman for the movement’s military wing Abu Obeida all promised that if Israel attacks Gaza, it could expect all sorts of surprises. And, indeed, we must admit that Hamas has managed to surprise.

But the surprise isn’t the firing of long-range rockets (ever since Operation Pillar of Defense, it has been established that Hamas has rockets that can reach Tel Aviv). It is the fact that despite its miserable situation, after so many people wrote the movement off and predicted its demise, Hamas still dares to fire dozens of rockets at Israel in what is commonly seen as a suicidal move.

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