RealNews

Hamas May Widen Its Horizons, Observers Say

Israel’s assassination of Hamas chieftain Abdulaziz Rantisi could tilt the group’s balance of power toward more radical elements outside the Palestinian territories, with potentially serious regional repercussions, according to Israeli intelligence officials and analysts who study militant Palestinian factions. The killing of Rantisi damaged Hamas’ operational capabilities, but the motivation of its fighters — organized into tightly disciplined cells that are often unaware of one another’s existence — is probably unchanged or even enhanced, longtime observers of the group say. The power vacuum left by the killings of the trio of senior Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip — Rantisi, spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin and strategist Ismail abu Shanab, who was slain last year — places more control in the hands of the group’s leaders in exile in Syria, who in turn have links to Iran and the Lebanon-based Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah, according to Israeli authorities and sources within the Hamas movement. Full Story

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