• D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG
rotating globe
  • D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
Semafor Logo
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG


Jun 5, 2024, 1:04pm EDT
Middle East
icon

Semafor Signals

Hamas seeks to ensure its Gaza influence in ‘day after’ talks

Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo/Reuters
PostEmailWhatsapp
Title icon

The News

Hamas is reportedly pushing to maintain its influence in Gaza as it prepares for “day after” talks with Fatah, the political party that controls the Palestinian Authority.

But one senior Hamas official told Reuters that governing Gaza’ is not a key priority, saying, “Whether Hamas is in the government or outside it, that is not a prime demand of the movement.”

AD

Hamas reportedly wants Fatah to agree to form a new administration for the West Bank and Gaza. The two Palestinian factions will meet for talks in China in mid-June in efforts to envision the future of the Gaza Strip.

icon

SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Hamas and Fatah have rarely been able to cooperate

Source icon
Sources:  
Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The Times of Israel

Talks between Hamas and Fatah will be complicated by the long-standing tensions between the two factions. ”My expectations of rapprochement are minimal or less,” a Carnegie Middle East Center fellow told Reuters. While Fatah has largely supported negotiating with Israel as a strategy to secure an independent Palestinian state, Hamas has spent years calling for an armed struggle and dismissing the party as Israeli collaborators. The two groups have regularly cracked down on each other’s members within their respective territories, and have minimal communication, The Wall Street Journal reported. Fatah has called Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel a catastrophe that has only helped bring the “Israeli occupation” back to Gaza.

Hamas hopes for ‘power to fight without the burden of governing’

Source icon
Source:  
Foreign Affairs

After ruling the Gaza Strip for more than 15 years, Hamas officials appear to have concluded that governance has done little to improve its capability to attack Israel, a Middle East expert wrote in Foreign Affairs. Hamas sought to put the Palestinian issue back on the international agenda with the Oct. 7 attack, but its leadership also wanted to “relieve themselves of the sole burden of governing the Gaza Strip,” Matthew Levitt wrote. Ultimately, the group wants the “power to fight without the burden of governing.” Hamas may be seeking to emulate Hezbollah, which has had success in launching attacks at Israel from Lebanon and influencing government policy without having a formal role in government, Levitt added.

No clarity on what ‘day after’ looks like in Gaza

Source icon
Sources:  
Al Jazeera,, The Times of Israel, Hudson Institute, The Washington Post

US officials have criticized Israel’s lack of a clear postwar plan, with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken saying in late May that “in the absence of a plan for the day after, there won’t be a day after.” Within Israel, tensions are also mounting about the lack of clarity about who will rule Gaza after the war. Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz has demanded a plan by June 8, and warned that he will pull out of the ruling coalition if a clear plan of action has not been put forth by Saturday. Some experts have called for an international coalition to take over control of Gaza, while US officials have suggested that a revamped Palestinian Authority could rule the enclave.

Semafor Logo
AD