Senior American officials dealing with Middle East policy speak of a “catch-22” situation. On the one hand, they perceive an unprecedented opportunity to tackle radical Islam and Hamas in the aftermath of the Gaza war with a coalition of pragmatists; on the other hand, they do not believe that the Israeli partner for such an arrangement is on board.
A new regional strategic configuration necessitates dealing with the Palestinian predicament. Such a strategy must strengthen Fatah at the expense of Hamas in the form of long- and short-term progress toward Palestinian statehood. That said, a strategy must also end the Israeli occupation and its fueling of fundamentalist growth. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority all feel threatened by the current wave of radical Islam. They are committed to fight it by force, as seen in Egypt, but also through political, security and economic cooperation.