Hamas Needs Attention
Given the recent focus on events in the Ukraine and the rise of the ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Hamas could have been feeling a little pressure to act, or at the very least get some attention. With the world and the media looking in other places for the nightly headline, Hamas was slowly fading off the world stage and out of the worlds media. This lack of attention directly translates into a decline of donors willing to pour money into the Gaza Strip. In effect, Hamas needs attention.
There is little doubt that some pressure had to exist. Hamas's major backer, Iran has been mired in Syria and Iraq dealing with the rising of the ISIS star. The recent crackdown on militants in the Sinai by the ruling regime in Egypt also had to add to the pressure, since increased Egyptian military activity would threaten the tunnels that Hamas relies on. Other Middle Eastern states, such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been providing money to their various interests or diverting money to their own militaries. Hamas was seen as potentially moving toward the Palestinian Authority camp with the recent engagement on a collaborative government. Signifying to donors that less money would be needed. A interim peace with the PA would have the effect of reducing the influence of Hamas to attract continued donations.
Donations are vital to Hamas. Hamas is responsible for paying the significant number of public service employees as well as their personal soldiers. All Israeli tax money that is supposed to go to the Gaza Strip, is indefinitely on hold due to the continued presence of Hamas. This puts Hama's in the position of needing donation money to effectively stay in power. With the rise of other militancy movements, such as the one occurring in Libya, even the rich states of the Middle East are going to be hard pressed to supply them all with cash. With oil prices currently stable, the financial resources of the oil rich states are going more to beef up their own security than to support external governments, as they have less money to throw around currently and in the near future.
The rejection by Hamas of the first brokered ceasefire leads credence to this idea. Even Hamas must realize that the overall goal of eliminating the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip is unlikely. Therefore while Hamas is attempting to gain that position, it is a reasonable assumption that they are willing to accept less than a full lifting of the blockade. As to the specific reduction of the blockade that Hamas will accept, is anyone's guess. Hamas needs attention. Now that they have it, it will be interesting to see what they will do with it. The downside is that the next time Hamas needs donations, people are going to have to suffer for it. People, both in and out of the Gaza Strip. One way or the other, after this latest conflict ends, another will be right around the corner.