Unable to get the siege fully lifted and nervous about grumblings that the movement is veering towards normalisation with Israel, Hamas may be turning intolerantly inwards again. Some leaders are resorting to more virulent Islamist language in order to fend off the charge of truckling to Israel. This week the UN cancelled a marathon race in Gaza after Hamas banned women from running beside men and insisted that they cover their legs. Hamas may let young cadres revive a morality campaign that had previously lapsed.

Such actions will do little to endear the Islamists to Gazans tired of conflict, isolation and factional rivalry. Some Gazans have set fire to themselves in the hope of sparking a Tunisia-style uprising. A recent protest rally, where men and women mixed freely, was Gaza’s largest ever."