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Will Israel, Hamas miss out on chance for deal?

Israel and Hamas are about to miss an opportunity to halt the cycle of violence and make a deal for lifting the siege and demilitarizing the Gaza Strip.
A female demonstrator runs for cover during a protest where Palestinians demand the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa - RC1190AE6040
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There is much despair and suffering in the Gaza Strip. UN envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov warned May 23 that Gaza “is on the verge of collapse.” Gaza’s almost hermetic closure by Israel, the rift between Hamas and Fatah, and the continuous investment by Hamas in arms and tunnels instead of investing in the economy have led to a catastrophic humanitarian disaster. Hamas cannot resolve it on its own, even now that Egypt has agreed to open the Rafah crossing during the month of Ramadan. Within the Hamas political and terrorist leadership in Gaza are different opinions as to how to deal with the crisis, ranging from a political solution to another war with Israel.

A senior PLO official with close ties to the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip told Al-Monitor that Ramallah is satisfied over Hamas’ failure to ignite violence against Israel from the West Bank. In fact, while President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the Israeli killing of Gazans and has called for three days of official mourning, he believes that Hamas has failed in its latest effort to ignite violence for political and public relations purposes. And so, despite Arab, Muslim and international outpouring of sympathy with the victims of the confrontation, Hamas itself is as isolated as before in handling the Gazan humanitarian crisis.

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