EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Hamas did not achieve the goals it had in mind when it organized and set in motion the “March of Return” campaign. The organization would be wise to cut a deal with Gaza business community leaders and the civil bureaucracy that they administer the Strip while Hamas continues to police it, provided it refrains from fighting Israel. Maybe then Gaza could begin to tread a path towards a Singaporean vision.
It is now time for the hundreds in Hamas whose job is to create and spread violence against Israel, and the hundreds of Israelis in the political and security establishment whose business is to avoid or quell that violence, to assess the results of the “March of Return” campaign (at least until the next campaign, which will likely begin after a temporary lull during the fast month of Ramadan).
The scoresheet is heavily set against Hamas, which spent a great deal of blood and treasure on the campaign.
The organization’s biggest failure was its inability to ignite the Arab residents of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority. Hamas is well aware that the evocative power of the Palestinian problem lies (ironically) in the names and places found in Jewish and Christian scriptures – Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron; not Gaza, Khan Yunis, or Rafah.