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The Boston Globe


Fighting boosts Hamas’ standing

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The eight days of fighting between Hamas and Israel left more than 160 Palestinians and six Israelis dead, but there may be another casualty from the sudden burst of violence: whatever small chance there was for reviving a long-moribund peace process.

Emboldened by landing rockets near Tel Aviv and Jerusalem — and by the backing of Egypt and other regional powers — Hamas, the militant Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip, has emerged as the dominant force in a divided Palestinian leadership, its resistance mantra drowning out messages of more moderate groups. The word ‘‘peace’’ has hardly been heard in public here since the shelling stopped, never mind the phrase ‘‘two-state solution.’’

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