Since Israel evacuated Gaza in 2005 and Hamas took control after winning the 2006 elections, there have been three conflicts, most recently in July 2014. The standard pattern is a rise in rocket and other attacks against Israel from Gaza, followed by an Israeli military incursion to destroy that capability.
- Israel’s work on the new barrier will present a media challenge to Hamas's Gaza chief, Yehia Sinwar.
- A rising humanitarian crisis could force Hamas to make concessions to Egypt in order to secure power and other supplies.
- Iran may boost assistance to Hamas’s military wing, linked with Sinwar, to expand its leverage against Israel.
- Any military escalation in Gaza could distract attention from corruption investigations into Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.