Mohammed Deif, the commander of the Hamas military wing whom Israel tried to assassinate during last summer’s war in Gaza, is alive and involved in Hamas’ military decisions, according both Israeli and Palestinian assessments.

It also appears that while Hamas has tried to present itself as victorious in the fighting against Israel last summer, opinion in the Gaza Strip is divided over the outcome of the war, especially in light of the serious social and economic situation in the Strip today.

The decision to confront Israel militarily was made in the context of the severe distress in Gaza due to the Israeli closure, as a means of putting the plight of Gaza on the agendas of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the international community. […]