Analysis by Mel Frykberg
"RAMALLAH, Feb 6 (IPS) - Despite intensive efforts by Israel, the international community and a number of Arab leaders to weaken and destroy Hamas through economic, punitive and military action, the Islamist organisation continues to be a force to reckon with.....
Despite the immense scale of death and destruction wrought by Operation Cast Lead, which left over 1,300 Palestinians, mostly civilians dead, rockets continue to be fired at Israel in spite of disproportionate responses from the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).
Following the recent ceasefire most of Hamas's leadership emerged from underground bunkers unscathed. The digging of smuggling tunnels for everyday necessities as well as arms has resumed.
Furthermore, there are also growing signs that the Europeans, some Israelis and previous Arab opponents are resigned to factoring Hamas into any political equation to address a resolution of the conflict.
Last week after several days of intensive diplomatic pressure, the Israeli government managed to stymie a French initiative to weaken the Jewish state's stance on Hamas......"