ASSESSMENTS

In Gaza, COVID-19 Creates Space for Israeli-Hamas Cooperation

MIN READApr 23, 2020 | 17:09 GMT

Security forces loyal to Hamas wear face masks while they guard the entrance to the seaport in Gaza City on March 25, 2020. The Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip has been on lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Security forces loyal to Hamas wear face masks while they guard the entrance to the seaport in Gaza City on March 25, 2020. The Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip has been on lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19.

(Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In Gaza, the COVID-19 pandemic has granted Israel and Hamas, the Islamist militant group that governs the coastal enclave, a temporary impetus to cooperate, which has the potential to turn into a longer-lasting, if unstable, detente. That isn’t to say that there isn’t plenty of room for disruption and violence between the two longtime enemies, as the core ideological imperatives undermining their conflict remain at odds. But as long as the pandemic continues to cripple Israel’s economy and that of Hamas’ major sponsor, Qatar, both sides will be compelled to find new ways to work with one another....

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