Scattered protests aside, life in the West Bank continued ““normally”” (by West Bank standards) during Operation Cast Lead. The relative quiet stemmed from political disillusionment and the heavy-handed control exercised by the Palestinian security services. Whereas some thought that the Israeli campaign would mark a turning point, in fact it deepened the paralysis of the Palestinian political system. With Hamas failing to achieve tangible gains and Fatah increasingly at odds with itself and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah——itself pursuing a ““good governance”” strategy that few believe will end the Israeli occupation——Palestinians' faith in their own political establishment has dropped to a new low.

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