Hamas at a crossroads | CNN
By Nathan Thrall
Hamas never has faced such major challenges and opportunities as those presented by the Arab uprisings. It abandoned its headquarters in Damascus – at much cost to ties with its largest state supporter, Iran – while improving relations with such U.S. allies as Egypt, Qatar and Turkey. Asked to pick sides in an escalating regional contest, it has sought to choose neither. Internal tensions are at new heights, centering on how to respond to regional changes in the short run. Leaders in the West Bank and in exile tend to believe that with the rise of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the West’s rapprochement with Islamists, it is time for bolder steps toward Palestinian unity. This could facilitate Hamas’s regional and wider international integration. The Gaza leadership, by contrast, is wary of large strategic steps amid a still uncertain regional future.