Having failed to accomplish much in the recent Gaza war, Hamas has begun a new strategy of cooperation with al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in the Sinai peninsula. This new collaboration allows it to participate in attacks on Egypt and creates an opportunity to smuggle weapons into Gaza from Sinai, mostly through tunnels. In response, however, Egypt has located and destroyed tunnels and closed off its border with Gaza. As a result, civil reconstruction is at a standstill and an increasingly isolated Hamas has turned to attacks in Jerusalem and its effort to take over the West Bank:
The dynamics that led to the long conflict this summer between Israel and Hamas have not disappeared, and neither has the jihadi terrorism that still seeps out of the Gaza Strip in all directions. Understanding this triangle of “Egypt-Gaza-Israel” is key to unlocking the significance of current regional events. The more that Gaza-linked terror groups threaten Egypt, the more the Egyptian government will seek to isolate and punish Hamas. A distressed Hamas, struggling to initiate reconstruction efforts, is more likely to try to break its isolation through a terrorist provocation against Israel, even if this attempt takes an indirect form through a proxy terror group.