"Over the last three weeks of conflict, Hamas has only burnished its nationalist credentials, established that it cannot be defeated, and that it has a reservoir international support. It is also hard to understand how partnership with Israel will help Abbas after Operation Protective Edge has caused so much damage and killed so many Palestinians. Abbas hates Hamas, but he cannot be seen as a quisling of Jerusalem. All in all, Hamas is in much better shape than it was when its leaders reluctantly sought a lifeline from Abbas and the PA," writes CFR's Steven Cook in the Times of Israel.
"Immiserating the people of Gaza is not an Israeli or American objective, and we should be open to all sensible ways of ameliorating the awful situation in which they live. We should draw up or applaud generous plans and leave it to Hamas to reject them or make them impossible by refusing to disarm. But those Israeli proposals will not, of course, work, nor will any proposals that require disarming Hamas as a precondition for aid to Gaza," writes CFR's Elliott Abrams in the Weekly Standard.
"Like the present Israeli government (or, better, its leading members), Hamas doesn't believe in a Palestinian state alongside Israel. These two bitter enemies are actually helping one another. Every rocket that Hamas fires weakens the Israeli left and makes it more difficult for ordinary Israelis to contemplate a withdrawal from the West Bank—since rockets from there could make all of Israel uninhabitable. And every new settlement, every 'price tag' attack on the West Bank, weakens Fatah and the PA and lends credence to Hamas's claim that violence is the only way," writes Michael Walzer in the New Republic.
Explore CFR’s Interactive on the Sunni-Shia Divide
Sectarian conflict is becoming entrenched in a growing number of Muslim countries. Tensions between Sunnis and Shias could reshape the future Middle East. Click on the Sunni-Shia Divide to learn more.
Alarmist reporting contributes to the inflation of perceived threats, writes CFR's Micah Zenko.
Sierra Leone Declares Ebola Emergency
Sierra Leone on Wednesday declared a state of emergency, under which its security forces will enforce a quarantine of affected areas, following the lead of Liberia, where schools were closed this week (BBC). President Ernest Bai Koroma and his Liberian counterpart Ellen Sirleaf Johnson said they will pull out of a summit in Washington next week to manage the crisis.
RUSSIA: The European Court of Human Rights ordered Russia to pay shareholders of the oil firm Yukos $2.6 billion in damages (Reuters) for failing to "strike a fair balance" and charging the company excessive fees. Yukos was once run by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent ten years in prison before his release last year.