Hamas not at the table, but it could ruin the party

A few hours after the first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Washington on Tuesday morning, a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip and landed in a field in southern Israel.

Although the explosion caused no casualties or damage, it signals a greater danger on the horizon.

The past eight months have been one of the calmest periods around Gaza in over a decade. But that may be about to change now as Hamas is currently is facing a major crisis.

The coup against President Morsi has not only deprived the movement of its Muslim Brotherhood ally in Cairo, but also unleashed a major anti-Hamas offensive by Egypt’s military. Last year, Hamas broke with Iran and Hizbollah — but now finds itself isolated. In addition, the Hamas leadership is split, with hardliners saying it was a mistake to break away from the Iranian axis.

If peace talks intensify, Hamas will begin to feel increasingly marginalised and tempted to unleash more rockets.

Last updated: 12:06pm, August 1 2013