The UN statehood bid, led by Hamas rival Mahmoud Abbas, has deepened the rift between Gazans and their Islamist rulers.
Hamas has yet to officially declare its stance on the Palestinian statehood bid, to be launched at the UN this week. If the bid fails, the Islamist movement could expand its power in the West Bank.
Egypt's weakening control in the Sinai, from which militants launched attacks that killed eight Israelis yesterday, is a wild card in the policy of mutual deterrence between Israel and Hamas.
If the 700 activists on a aid flotilla arrive in Gaza, will they side-step – or work with – the increasingly cash-strapped Hamas government? The aid flotilla goal is to break through Israel's naval blockade and distribute 10,000 tons of supplies to Palestinian civilians.
Ahead of a Feb. 5 deadline to respond to war crimes charges in the UN-sponsored Goldstone report, Hamas said it had meant to hit military targets last winter. Human Rights Watch disagrees.
Hamas appears to be trying to boost its Islamic credentials at home through restrictions on women's dress and men walking with women who are not family.
The US envoy arrives at a time when Israelis and Palestinians seem most absorbed with fixing their own houses before dealing with their neighbors.
Hamas officials in Egypt Monday considered terms of a possible 'tahadiyeh,' or calming, in recent fighting with Israel even as violence flared on both sides of the border.