Israeli leaders might loathe Hamas, but they know and understand an old adversary

17 July 2014 | by David Blair

Even the most wanton and pointless outbreaks of bloodshed eventually come to an end. By the time you read these words, the sudden conflagration between Israel and Gaza may have been dampened down – or, with a bit of luck, extinguished altogether. On the other hand, it would only take one terrible incident – a rocket killing an Israeli family inside their home, for example – and the inferno would flare up again.But if a ceasefire emerges, as it must eventually, you can be sure that nothing fundamental will have changed. Hamas, the radical Islamist movement, will remain in control of Gaza, with no thought for how to govern the territory save to use it as a giant launch pad for firing rockets at Israel. On the other side of the line, the leaders of Israel will not have beco

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