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Israel, Hamas need each other

Elements within the Israeli security establishment propose to negotiate with Hamas and enable Gaza to benefit from Israeli distillation facilities, electricity services and employment opportunities, while assuring Israel a certain degree of calm.
Palestinians supporting Hamas chant slogans during a rally celebrating Hamas student supporters winning the student council election at Birzeit University in the West Bank city of Ramallah April 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
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And meanwhile, Gaza: The truth is, few people take an interest in Gaza anymore. While the Gaza Strip had attracted much world attention during and after the Protective Edge campaign last summer, it has now been pushed to the sidelines. According to data from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the index of world interest in Gaza has declined to a historic low. Now that the Gaza Strip isn’t burning, it has stopped being a topic of interest. Instead, the world is focused on the nuclear negotiations with Iran, in the wars in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, in the wild expansion of the Islamic State (IS) and perhaps also in the events unfolding in Yemen and Libya. Gaza has been forgotten.

That doesn’t mean that dramatic changes aren’t happening on the Gaza front. Not long ago, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, a member of the ideological right, was asked his opinion on whether Israel ought to conduct negotiations with Hamas. Rivlin answered, “I'm not opposed to talking with anyone who is willing to talk.” Under normal circumstances, this would be a dramatic statement. But in the current climate, when public attention is focused on other fronts, this declaration almost went under the radar.

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