Armed resistance to Israel wins Hamas friends in the streets and among Arab neighbors.
Neither Israel nor Hamas has budged on long-held principles that make coexistence difficult and the prospects for lasting peace remote.
Both Britain and France have summoned Israel's ambassadors to protest plans to expand construction in East Jerusalem, while some say more serious action like economic reprisals are possible.
Mahmoud Abbas hopes to save his legacy with a bid to have the UN effectively recognize a state of Palestine. Opposition from the US and Israel is self-defeating, as the collapse of Abbas's leadership would also spell the end of a two-state solution, as well as its greatest champion.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert came out strongly in support of Palestine being given "observer state" status at the UN tomorrow.