Palestine's Party of God
Matthew Levitt describes how Hamas is likely to emulate Hezbollah. "Hamas will look north to Lebanon’s Hezbollah (Party of God) for a working model of a militant Islamist group that balances its political, charitable, and violent activities."
Unlike Western strategy, which wants a pre-identified "exit strategy" in place from the beginning of any operation, Iran has followed a model which seeks to sink deep roots into its targets. By slow degrees it acquires methods, contacts and experience which work very well within its setting. In that respect it resembles the European colonial efforts of the 18th and 19th century where the West's approach is similar to that of the episodic Viking raids on distant coasts.
These methods have worked so well there is some fear that they will spread onto the West Bank. Clearly, the method of combining Islamist ideology, "networked insurgency" methods and astute political action are proving more than a match for the old-style strongmen of the Middle East who rely upon the Nasser and Soviet style methods of the secret police and censorship. New technologies have substanstially undercut the effectiveness of those old repressive measures. Ironically, those who have put their faith in "realism" by upholding the despotic regimes in the Middle East as an alternative to bringing democracy to it are ceding the field to organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah.