Attack Ends Israel’s Hope That Hamas Might Embrace Stability

From a New York Times news analysis by Steven Erlanger headlined “Attack Ends Israel’s Hope That Hamas Might Come to Embrace Stability”:

Since its founding, Hamas has declared that Israel has no right to exist, that there are no Israeli civilians and that every Israeli citizen is a soldier of the state, and thus a legitimate target.

Still, if Western nations considered Hamas a terrorist organization, they also thought that it was preoccupied with governing Palestinians crammed into Gaza. Hamas provided social services. It was even thought of as a restraint on what were considered even more radical groups.