Israeli decision comes despite an official request from Washington to back U.S.-Cuba reconciliation.
With no real accomplishment to justify the suffering of Gazans over the summer, Hamas may feel it has little to lose. The election campaign may also dictate Israeli response.
A new right wing government would be anti-liberal, anti-pluralist, anti-peace, anti-Arab and, yes, anti-democracy.
The Church of the Nativity was flanked by the towering Christmas tree and a large poster in Arabic and English that read 'All I want for Christmas is justice.'