Hamas’ attempts at saving face at what can only be called a smashing is nearly laughable to anyone that lives outside of the Gaza Strip. However, despite Hamas’ shellacking they achieved one very important goal.
Hamas’ main goal was the ascendency to the leadership of a united “palestinian” movement. By coordinating riots in Jerusalem and across Israel through Arab street gangs, Hamas was able to take the reins from Abbas and Fatah. As far as Israel is concerned, there is very little difference between Fatah and Hamas in terms of Jews being targeted. However, Hamas is now directly tied into Iran and is seen as a proxy army, prepared to sacrifice its own citizens to bring Israel down.
The surprise violent riots in cities like Ramle and Lod as well as Jerusalem gave Hamas a certain lift amongst the younger “palestinian” street. This street has little connection to the dismal economic situation their parents and grandparents had been in and instead has taken their upward mobility for granted.
Israel will now have to go out of its way to build new inroads into the Israeli Arab communities it thought it had pulled into the Israeli milieu. If not, Israel risks further alienating an entire generation of young Arabs, leaving them prone to Hamas’ overtures.