A string of major regional developments over the past two years has left the Islamist Hamas government in Gaza in dire straits and opened up new opportunities for Israel and Palestinian moderates.

In backing the Sunni rebels in the Syrian civil war, Hamas forfeited its special ties with its biggest arms supplier, Iran; the military ouster of its Muslim Brotherhood allies in Cairo put serious strains on its relations with Egypt; and a change of leadership in Qatar left a big question mark over the extent of financial aid from the oil-rich Gulf state it can continue to count on.

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