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May 26, 2021 28 min

After 11 days of fighting over the skies of Israel and Gaza, a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel was announced last week.

The conflict wrought devastation in Gaza. Yet Hamas’s leaders took to television and declared victory.

We look at where the organization comes from and their objectives to understand why it has, for decades, engaged in battles it knows it can’t win.

Guest: Ben Hubbard, the Beirut bureau chief for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

  • After the cease-fire, in addition to relief, some Gaza residents felt a sense of déjà vu, having survived several recent wars with Israel. After each war, it takes years for Gaza to recover.
  • Israel’s military said its airstrikes killed dozens of senior Hamas operatives and destroyed critical military infrastructure. But victory is hard to measure.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

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