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Policy Forum

The Gaza Challenge: Hamas, Rockets, and the Use of Terror as a Weapon

Dennis Ross, David Makovsky, James G. Lindsay, and Ghaith al-Omari

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March 14, 2008


Qassam rocket strikes from Hamas-controlled Gaza -- recently amplified by longer-range Iranian-made Grad rockets -- continue to rain down on Israeli civilian targets, triggering military retaliations. What is Hamas's strategy, toward both Israel and the ordinary Palestinians under its own rule in Gaza? What is the nature and outcome of Israel's response? Is the Annapolis process on hold until a new status quo emerges? And does yesterday's terrorist attack against a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem signal the resumption of an intifada-era campaign of terror? To discuss these issues, The Washington Institute invited Dennis Ross, David Makovsky, James G. Lindsay, and Ghaith al-Omari to discuss the Institute's Special Policy Forum on March 14, 2008.

Dennis Ross is counselor and Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute. His publications on Israeli-Palestinian issues include the seminal 2004 book The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace.

David Makovsky is a senior fellow and director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Institute. He also serves as an adjunct professor of Middle Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University's Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

James G. Lindsay is a visiting fellow at the Institute, focusing on Palestinian refugee issues and UN humanitarian assistance. From 2000 to 2007, he served in Gaza as a legal advisor and general counsel with the UN Relief and Works Agency, which carries out projects benefitting Palestinian refugees.

Ghaith al-Omari is a senior fellow at the American Task Force for Palestine. Previously, he served as a political advisor to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.