Palestinian militants and Egypt restored some order on the border Sunday, and Hamas gains leverage in negotiations.
By Ilene R. Prusher and Dan Murphy
Christian Science Monitor
Contributed by Lucia in Spain
".....But as the holes are patched, analysts say Hamas not only has broken out of its physical isolation, but is emerging with a stronger negotiating position on several fronts. "At this moment, Hamas is the only address for discussing the Egyptian-Gazan border regime. Hamas is also the only address for Israel right now to solve the practical problems of the open border. If this isn't a victory, I don't know what is," says Yaron Ezrahi, a political science professor at Hebrew University.....
Diaa Rashwan, an expert on Islamic movements and regional politics in Cairo, says the forcing open of the border has pierced the consensus that prevailed among the Egyptians, Israelis, and the US after the Annapolis, Md., peace conference at the end of last year – that isolating Hamas was still the way forward.
"The Israelis miscalculated. They thought besieging and isolating Hamas would help Abbas, but the outcome has been the reverse," he says. "We're in a new phase, and Hamas has been strengthened. Now the Egyptian government is offering to bring Hamas and Fatah together under its sponsorship, because that's where Egypt's national interest now lies."....."