Just like the divestment movement empowers the Israeli right wing, Hamas is empowered by the siege. It can blame everything that it does wrong and every problem on the siege and the world's hatred of Arabs, and Gazans. And their message gets to the people in Gaza with Israeli and Egyptian assistance. The siege started when Fatah was in power, at the end of the disengagement. Then after Hamas won an election, it was intensified and Hamas was driven into Iran's arms. Then Bush & Sharon organized the coup-counter-coup. Israeli politicians couldn't be elected without Hamas in power in Gaza. Hence Cast Lead stopped before it endangered Hamas. Israeli politicians have wanton disregard for the people under their thumb and boot-heel.
Syrian rebels threaten to shell government forces if prisoners' demands not met (Reuters)
from the article: Taking Gaza seriously