TIME: Analysis: How Hamas Wins by Losing

By Bobby Ghosh Tuesday, Jan. 06, 2009

Watching the TV coverage of Israel's ground offensive on Gaza over the weekend, I could have sworn that I heard the ghost of Abdel Aziz Rantissi laughing.

Rantissi was Hamas' political leader in Gaza when we met in a dark safehouse in April 2002. The second Palestinian intifadeh was at its height. The previous week, Israeli troops had bulldozed into the refugee camp in Jenin, in the West Bank, smashing the infrastructure of another militant group, Islamic Jihad, but also killing civilians. Israeli forces were easily beating Hamas forces in Gaza too; in Ramallah, Yasser Arafat was practically under house arrest as Israeli snipers took up position around the seat of the Palestinian government.