Just a year ago, this author considered Israel's acceptance of the hudna or tahidyah (temporary cease fire) a strategic victory for Hamas and its allies: the organization would be regarded by the Palestinian population as the leading element in the national struggle; it would receive international legitimacy, establish its economic and political control through the generous assistance of the international community; and it would be able to develop a deterrent military capability vis-a-vis Israel through massive arms smuggling across the Egyptian border.
Notes:  Ely Karmon, "Hudna is no solution," Haaretz, January 2, 2008.  Frisch, Hillel, “The Iran-Hamas Alliance: Threat and Folly,” Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies Perspectives Paper No. 28, May 2, 2007, p. 1.  Rekhess, Elie, "The Terrorist Connection—Iran, the Islamic Jihad and Hamas," Justice (Tel Aviv), May 1995, p. 4.  Karmon, Ely, “Counterterrorism Policy: Why Tehran Starts and Stops Terrorism?” Middle East Quarterly, Vol., V, No. 4, December 1998.  Kurz, Anat & Tal, Nahman, “Hamas: Radical Islam in a National Struggle,” 76. Jaffee Center for Strategic Center Memorandum, No. 48, July 1997.  Frisch, “The Iran-Hamas Alliance: Threat and Folly.”  Kurz & Tal, “Hamas: Radical Islam in a National Struggle.”  Ibid.  Ibid.  The first suicide attack prior to the signing of the Oslo Agreement occurred on April 16, 1993, when a Hamas car bomb blew up outside a roadside near Mehola, a farming settlement in the Jordan Valley. Two people were killed, one of them the suicide bomber. Between 13 September 1993 (the signing of the Oslo Agreement) and 31 December 1996, 202 Israeli citizens were killed in terrorist attacks—132 of them civilians and 70 from the security forces. A total of 979 Israelis were wounded, 614 of them civilians and 365 from the security forces. Of the fatalities, 128 were victims of suicide attacks. Overall, 80 of the fatalities and 395 of the injured resulted from Hamas operations, while 48 fatalities and 243 were the result of Islamic Jihad operations. See Kurz & Tal, “Hamas: Radical Islam in a National Struggle.”  An intelligence report dated December 10, 2000, by Amin al-Hindi, head of the PA’s General Intelligence, noted the transfer of funds by Iran to Hamas and other organizations opposed to the Palestinian Authority. The sum of $400,000 was transferred by Iran to the `Iz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades and another $700,000 to other Islamist organizations opposed to the PA. The money was meant to encourage suicide bombings. Barsky, Yehudit, “The New Leadership of Hamas. A Profile of Khalid Al-Mish`al,” AJC Series on Terrorism, The American Jewish Committee, June 2004, p. 6.  Frisch, “The Iran-Hamas Alliance: Threat and Folly,” p. 2.  Ely Karmon, Hamas and the al-Aqsa Intifada, (from a presentation at a conference in August 2001).  Milton-Edwards, Beverley, “Prepared for Power: Hamas, Governance and Conflict,” Civil Wars, Vol.7, No.4 (Winter 2005), pp.311–329.  The Quartet on the Middle East (or simply The Quartet) is a foursome of nations and international entities involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet includes the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. The group was established by the Spanish Prime Minister Aznar in Madrid (Spain) in 2002, as a result of the escalating conflict in the Middle East.  Kostiner, Joseph, “Saudi Regional Strategy. The Power of Mediation,” Tel Aviv Notes, The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University, March 25, 2007, at http://www.dayan.org/Saudi_Regional_Strategy.pdf.  Karmon, Ely, "Palestine, Playground for Islamist Actors," Palestinian-Israeli crossfire, bitterlemons-international.org, May 1, 2006, Ed. 17, at http://www.bitterlemons.org/previous/ bl010506ed17.html#isr2.  IRNA, January 20, 2006.  “Hamas says aid from Iran is forthcoming,” The Jerusalem Post, October 12, 2006.  “Palestinian PM in Tehran nods to Iranian support,” Reuters, December 8, 2006.  “Hamas threatens to step up attacks if Israel strikes Iran,” Haaretz, December 15, 2005.  Ruth Margalit, "Report: Hamas leader says hundreds of militants trained in Iran, Syria," Haaretz, March 9, 2008.  Richard Boudreaux, “Israeli intelligence chief: Iran training Hamas,” Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2007.  Ibid.  “U.S.: With Iranian help, Hamas forces growing faster than Fatah,” Reuters, March 21, 2007.  Yaghi, Mohammad and Fishman ,Ben, “Hamas's Coup and the Challenges Ahead for Fatah,” PolicyWatch, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, No. 1248 , June 19, 2007.  Ronny Sofer, “’Hamas army' established in Gaza, intelligence source says,” YnetNews, July 10, 2007.  Khamenei Decrees: Israel is Kafer-e-Harbi; Iranian Martyrdom Seekers Await Khameini's Orders; Iranian Student Organizations Threaten to Take Over Egyptian, Jordanian Diplomatic Representations, MEMRI Special Dispatch, No. 2169, December 31, 2009.  Iranian newspaper reportedly closed for Gaza article, Reuters, December 31, 2008.  Xinhua, January 4, 2009.  Tehran Times, January 4, 2009.  David Schenker, "Hizballah Will Defend Iran -- Not Palestinians," PolicyWatch, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, No. 1444, December 30, 2008.  Barak Ravid, “Mubarak: Hamas will never sign a peace agreement with Israel,” Haaretz, May 17, 2007.  Ma'an News,April 21, 2006.  Steven Erlanger, "Divisions Deep at Arab League Meeting," `NYT), January 1 2009.  Steven Erlanger, "Egypt, Feeling Pressure From the Arab World on Gaza, Also Feels It From Within," NYT, January 3, 2009.  Barry Rubin, The Gaza War Is it All So Hard to Understand? http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-gaza-war-is-it-really-so-hard-to-understand/ December 31, 2008  UAE Columnist: Hamas's Claim to Palestine Must Be Questioned, MEMRI Special Dispatch, No. 2166, December 30, 2008.  See Ely Karmon, "Iran–Syria-Hizballah–Hamas: A Coalition against Nature. Why does it Work?" Proteus Monograph Series, Volume 1, Issue 5, May 2008, Center for Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA., USA, at http://www.carlisle.army.mil/proteus/docs/karmon-iran-syria-hizbollah.pdf.