RealNews

In Loss of Leaders, Hamas Discovers a Renewed Strength

The leaders of Hamas gathered under a tent at a dusty soccer stadium last Sunday, joined by thousands of mourners offering condolences for the group’s slain chief in Gaza, Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi. When the service ended, the Hamas officials vanished, making perhaps their last joint public appearance for a long time. Israeli missile strikes that have killed two Hamas leaders in the past month have driven the surviving senior officials deep underground and raised questions about the group’s ability to elude Israel’s defenses and resume attacks inside Israeli cities. While Hamas now lacks a high-profile leader here, and is perhaps less potent, there is a flip side. Each Israeli killing only seems to enhance the popularity of Hamas on the street, particularly in its Gaza stronghold, where it draws recruits from a society that is extremely poor and deeply religious. Full Story

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