Gaza War - Aftermath


Israel was victorious militarily, but its reputation was harmed. Hamas rejected the Quartet demands to recognize Israel, accept peace deals and abandon violence in exchange for an international recognition as Palestinian people representative. The international community continued to isolate Hamas (except for Iran and Syria). In the months following the war, Hamas suspended its use of rockets and shifted focus to winning support at home and abroad through cultural initiatives and public relations, with the aim to build a "cultural resistance". Hamas officials stated that "The current situation required a stoppage of rockets. After the war, the fighters needed a break and the people needed a break." Hamas also said that "rockets fired from Gaza were meant to hit military targets, but because they are unguided, they hit civilians by mistake." Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center notes that Hamas' post-war policy of restraint has come under severe criticism from local radical Islamic organizations, which accused Hamas of abandoning the principle of jihad to strengthen its control over the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials say that Hamas military commanders have recognized that their decision to take off their fatigues and don civilian clothing a few days into the fighting was a mistake that might have damaged morale and was perceived by Gazans as indicative that they had lost control of the territory; Hamas militants are now under orders to stay in uniform even if this makes them more easily targeted in Israeli air strikes.

By the end of 2009, in an attempt to cut smuggling tunnels, Egypt had begun to build an underground steel wall along its border with the Gaza Strip. The other steps include restrictions on movement through the Rafah crossing and the presence in Egypt of persons considered close to Hamas, and the expulsion of relatives of Hamas figures studying in Egypt. Egypt imposes naval blockade on its Gaza sea border. There were reports Egypt had severed all diplomatic ties with Hamas, which Hamas denied.

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