This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood talks to Tareq Baconi, Crisis Group’s senior Israel/Palestine analyst, about Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that governs Gaza. They talk about how Hamas views the latest bout of violence which saw the group fire more than 4,000 rockets at Israel, provoking Israel’s bombardment of the strip. Tareq looks at how Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere view the movement, its relations with its main Palestinian rival Fatah and its efforts to navigate geopolitical changes in the Middle East. They also discuss the conditions imposed by the Quartet (the European Union, Russia, the UN and U.S.) on Hamas after it won elections in 2006: that the group recognise Israel, as well as previous agreements with Israel, and renounce violence. They discuss debates within Hamas about those conditions and about its use of tactics that target civilians. They talk about whether, after this latest bout of fighting, there is any prospect of moving beyond an uneasy ceasefire punctuated by outbreaks of Hamas rocket fire and Israeli bombardments that perpetuate suffering in Gaza.
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