The Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic groups were always stronger in Gaza than in the West Bank. In 2001, Hamas launched about 500 rockets and mortars against Israel. Between 2001 and 2004, there were 45 people killed, including 30 Israelis, 4 foreign workers and 10 Palestinians wounded by mistake. The coup by Hamas against the Palestinian Authority (June/13/2007) in Gaza resulted in two phenomena: first, Hamas monopolized the distribution of the humanitarian aid, receiving tax funds because of the traffic in the Rafah-Egypt tunnels. This way, it destined part of their budget to build rockets and tunnels. In 2007, Hamas was launching 2,300 rockets and by 2008 it was more than 3,000 rockets per year.
The second effect was creating an open confrontation between Hamas and the PLO, an ideological-political conflict that reached its maximum expression in 2019 when Abbas asked Israel to cut the electricity it sells to the Gaza Strip or to suspend the 100 million dollars in taxes that Ramallah (Abbas) had to supply to Gaza (Hamas). The coup in Egypt, which returned the military to power led by Abdel Fatah A-Sissi, strangling, even more, the blockade against the Islamist Hamas. Officially, the international community disregarded the authority of Hamas. The US and the EU demanded that in order to acknowledge Hamas, it had to comply with three conditions: acknowledge Israel, acknowledge the treaties signed by the PLO and the cease of violence. Hamas rejected these conditions. The strategy of Israel was to weaken Hamas with the legal blockade, rejecting to impose all its military capacity to eliminate the Islamist government. Netanyahu’s government (2009) considers that the costs of such an operation overcome its benefits. Besides, such an effort would not guarantee the effective control of the Palestinian Authority over Gaza.