But Hamas was elected in the first ballot ever held among Palestinians! That was a huge setback for Israel and the US.<quoted text>
Hamas is the problem.
There are undoubtedly many citizens that are suffering needlessly. Hamas is making them suffer.
For years they had claimed that Yasser Arafat and El Fatah weren't representative of the Palestinians; they insisted on an election.
The result was a slap in the face: Palestinians elected the more radical Hamas. Hamas is less enclined to compromise than Arafat.
So now, they have to live with that choice. Also, Hamas brought Iran in the equation, Israel's deadly enemy. So now, it's a case of "plague on your house" for Israel.
Hamas is far more organised than El Fatah; on the social front, they brought schools, hospitals, food distribution, care for elderly, etc... which Arafat never bothered with. That won the votes of Palestinian for them. They also stopped the corruption in Gaza by expelling all Fatah administrators, etc...
Abbas, Arafat's successor, now looks like a puppet in Israeli hands, and I presume he wouldn't be re-elected as president.
Yes, Hamas may look like the devil, but it was brought there by circumstances and Israel being clumsy.