How Israel Helped Create Hamas

All signs indicate that the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prepared to wage a protracted battle in the battered Gaza Strip as it seeks to crush the capabilities of the Islamist militant group Hamas. The ongoing conflict has already exacted a bloody toll, with the Palestinian death count approaching the total of Israel’s 2008-2009 bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza, which led to the deaths of at least 1,383 Palestinians over three weeks.

Netanyahu wants to wholly demilitarize the Palestinian enclave, beginning with the network of tunnels that allow Hamas’s fighters to infiltrate into Israeli territory. But Hamas, a dogged outfit that thrives in wartime, is digging in its heels. On Tuesday, a Hamas spokesman said Netanyahu’s “threats did not frighten Hamas or the Palestinian people.”

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