Meanwhile, Ismail Haniya, head of the victorious Hamas list, explains the reasoning behind his movement's thinking. Amira Hass reveals the Western hypocrisy:
"Israel does not recognize all Palestinians' rights to their homes, land, trees and family relations or their rights to study or move freely. It infringes daily on all those rights. It systematically sabotages the chance to implement a United Nations resolution to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The Hamas' victory and its non-recognition of Israel are used as a pretext by Israel to stop negotiations that were not taking place in any case, and an excuse to avoid peace initiatives that never existed in the first place."
Palestinians have a right, under international law, to resist occupation. The Hamas strategy, however foreign to many in the West, reveals a gradual but determined plan to reduce Israeli control over Palestinian land and people. The success of Hamas is fraught with roadblocks but to simply ignore or dismiss the organisation is both politically naive and dangerous.