Fliers are dropped over Gaza City by the Israeli army urging residents to evacuate their homes. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED
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The savage fighting between Israel and Hamas is escalating in Gaza, cease-fire efforts take on elements of farce, and bravado rules the public discourse. But even through the fog of war, a few endgame scenarios can nonetheless be glimpsed.For the moment, the deadlock is well-entrenched: As long as the crippling blockade of Gaza remains in place, Hamas says it will continue firing rockets at Israel – terrifying but mostly ineffectual, thanks to the "Iron Dome" defense system. THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY TAKES OVER THE BORDER WITH EGYPT Hamas wants an end to the blockade that was imposed by Israel after the militants won the 2006 Palestinian parliament election, were sidelined by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and then seized Gaza in 2007 .Egypt seems little inclined to help Hamas against Israel, views Gaza as someone else's problem, and fears Gaza's militants trickling in and compounding its own jihadist problems in Sinai.No one expects Hamas to do this; it would cease to be Hamas.West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas signed a "unity government" deal two months ago that would have actually achieved this on paper – but few seriously expected Hamas to give up its control of Gaza.
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