By Khaled Hroub

The us perspectives Hamas as a 17 November. but, to the good shock of many, Hamas swept to victory within the 2006 Palestinian Authority elections. Hames is now a democratically elected political get together.

This is the 1st beginner's consultant to this debatable political association. Explaining the explanations for Hamas's luck, this ebook offers the major evidence which are so usually lacking from traditional information experiences. It's a one-stop advisor that provides a transparent evaluate of Hamas's background, key ideals, and its political agenda.

Written through a number one Al-Jazeera journalist and Cambridge educational, this distinct e-book offers a clean standpoint that will get to the guts of the explanations at the back of Hamas's victory. It offers a severe evaluate of Hamas's attitudes towards Israel, together with non secular ideals and suicide bombings, its perspective towards the P.L.O., and its application of grassroots social paintings inside Palestine.

The fact of Hamas's victory implies that the West will now need to have interaction with it extra heavily if there's to be peace within the center East. This booklet offers the 1st crucial step towards a greater realizing of the demanding situations and surprises that the longer term may well hold.

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Extra info for Hamas: A Beginner's Guide

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Despite the often-cited rhetoric in Hamas’s discourse about the impossibility of recognizing Israel, there actually is a visible thread of thinking that offers just such a possibility, though only if Israel reciprocated positively. After assuming his new post in early April 2006, Hamas’s foreign minister Mahmoud al-Zahhar sent a letter to Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, declaring that his government would be willing to live in peace, side by side with ‘its neighbours’, based on a two-state solution.

In this way, religious teaching strengthens the liberation front. The ultimate goals of Hamas are also dual: the ‘liberation of Palestine’ and the Islamization of society. In the early Hamas thinking and among rigid Palestinian Islamists, these two goals can never be reached simultaneously, but must come in sequence. For them, it would be futile to try to liberate Palestine before achieving a satisfactory degree of Islamization in Palestinian society. To their way of thinking, only religious and Islam-disciplined individuals would be able to defeat Israel.

Population projections suggest that in the very near future there will be roughly equal numbers of Jews and Palestinians living in the historic land of Palestine. The spectre of demography, and in particular who will overrule whom in the not so distant future, concerns both parties. Israeli solutions have revolved around annexing the maximum amount of Palestinian land with the minimum Palestinian population on it, to preserve the Jewishness of the state in the long run. Palestinian solutions have been to fight to stay on their lands (in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), defying direct and indirect Israeli measures to force as many of them as possible to leave, and upholding the right to return for refugees whom the Israelis have managed to expel.

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