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HAMAS and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics

HAMAS and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics

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Efforts to separate HAMAS from its popular support and network of social and charitable organizations have not been effective in destroying the organization, nor in eradicating the will to resist among a fairly large segment of the Palestinian population. It is important to consider this Islamist movement in the context of a region-wide phenomenon of similar movements with local goals, which can be persuaded to relinquish violence or which could become more violent. Certainly an orientation to HAMAS and its base must be factored into new and more practical and effective approaches to peacemaking in the region. At the same time, HAMAS offers a fascinating glimpse of the dynamics of strategic reactions and the modification of Israeli impulses towards aggressive deterrence, as well as the evolution in the Islamist movements’ planning and operations. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict bears similarities to a long-standing civil conflict, even as it has sparked inter-Palestinian hostilities in its most recent phase.
Efforts to separate HAMAS from its popular support and network of social and charitable organizations have not been effective in destroying the organization, nor in eradicating the will to resist among a fairly large segment of the Palestinian population. It is important to consider this Islamist movement in the context of a region-wide phenomenon of similar movements with local goals, which can be persuaded to relinquish violence or which could become more violent. Certainly an orientation to HAMAS and its base must be factored into new and more practical and effective approaches to peacemaking in the region. At the same time, HAMAS offers a fascinating glimpse of the dynamics of strategic reactions and the modification of Israeli impulses towards aggressive deterrence, as well as the evolution in the Islamist movements’ planning and operations. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict bears similarities to a long-standing civil conflict, even as it has sparked inter-Palestinian hostilities in its most recent phase.

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02/21/2013

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HAMAS AND ISRAEL:CONFLICTING STRATEGIES OF GROUP-BASEDPOLITICSSherifa ZuhurDecember 2008
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as dened
in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. As such, it isin the public domain, and under the provisions of Title 17,United States Code, Section 105, it may not be copyrighted.
Visit our website for other free publicationdownloadshttp://www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil/
 
ii*****The views expressed in this report are those of the author
and do not necessarily reect the ofcial policy or position of the
Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S.Government. This report is cleared for public release; distributionis unlimited.*****Comments pertaining to this report are invited and should beforwarded to: Director, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army WarCollege, 122 Forbes Ave, Carlisle, PA 17013-5244.*****All Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publications are availableon the SSI homepage for electronic dissemination. Hard copiesof this report also may be ordered from our homepage. SSI’shomepage address is:
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ISBN 1-58487-371-X
 
iii
CONTENTS
Foreword .......................................................................vBiographical Sketch of the Author ...........................viSummary .....................................................................viiIntroduction ...................................................................1Current Context ............................................................4HAMAS Roots in Short ...............................................5Summary of Recommendations ...............................16Background .................................................................20Postponement of Militant Islamism? .......................23Islamic Jihad ................................................................26HAMAS’ Growth ....................................................... 26Points of Doctrine .......................................................29Relations with the PLO-Fatah andthe Peace Processes ..............................................35Oslo .............................................................................. 36Revolutionary Resistance vs. OverwhelmingForce (Means) .......................................................39Ends …………………………………………………..40Recognition ………......................................................44Two States ………....................................................…45Mistakes …...........................................................……46HAMAS and Arab Political Currents ……………..47HAMAS’ Troubles with Jordan ……………………49HAMAS in Syria …………………………………… 50HAMAS and Saudi Arabia ………………………... 51Practicing Religion ………………………………… 52Political and Military Structure ……………………53Zakat and Community ……………………………..56Hostages ……………………………………………..58HAMAS’ Threat Value ……………………………..58HAMAS, the West, and the United States...............60Recommendations ……………………………..........61References ……………………………........................67Endnotes ……………………………..........................80

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