Is Israel witnessing the rise of a kinder, gentler Hamas?

30.12.2011                      04.Tewet. 5772

Hamas:

Is Israel witnessing the rise of a kinder, gentler Hamas?

Hamas' declaration of a cessation of terror activities against Israel seems serious. Does this mean a strategic change on the part of the organization? Not necessarily.

Despite the severe drubbing Hamas took in Operation Cast Lead three years ago, the Gaza-based organization remains Israel's bitter foe. In many senses – particularly its military potential – Hamas is even more dangerous now than it was then. But there is little resemblance between Hamas of 2008, with its almost-nonstop rocket fire on Israel, and the Islamist group now, which is not only not firing missiles but is arresting militants from other factions who try to do so.
Additional proof of Hamas' dramatic transformation in recent years, particularly since the advent of the so-called Arab Spring, came from the head of the organization's political bureau Khaled Meshal a few days ago. Hamas will henceforth focus on a popular struggle in the form of mass demonstrations and the like, he said. Hamas and Fatah have agreed on a joint mode of activity as well as on the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, he said….