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This profile was last updated on 10/1/00  and contains information from public web pages.
 
Background

Employment History

  • Palestinian Minister
    Foreign Affrairs Mahmoud Zahar
  • Spokesman
    Fatah
  • Foreign Minister
    PA
6 Total References
Web References
By winning the legislative elections of ...
www.esisc.org, 1 Oct 2000 [cached]
By winning the legislative elections of January 2006 and then taking control of the Gaza Strip during a bloody Putsch in June 2007, Hamas became a power to reckon with on the Palestinian political scene. Since then, the Islamic resistance movement has never ceased to be a terrorist organisation,[1] responsible for the death of hundreds of Israeli civilians - and now of Palestinian civilians. Its founding charter as well as its ongoing and constant propaganda call for violence and the destruction of the Jewish state.
At the present hour, when the future of the Middle-East is still playing out in Gaza - despite the unilateral cease-fire decreed by the Israeli security cabinet, followed thereafter by Hamas, - we propose to shed some light on the origins of the Islamist movement right up to today, its doctrine, its objectives, its resources and the support which it receives.
...
In 1987, the outbreak of the first Intifada saw, at the initiative of the Muslim Brotherhood,[3] the creation of an Islamic resistance movement, Hamas.
...
In August 1988, the charter[7] of Hamas was unveiled.
...
During all of the first Intifada, Hamas and its military branch, the Ezzedine al-Kassam Brigades, positioned themselves as serious competitors to Fatah and the PLO.[8] Condemning first the Madrid Conference, then the Oslo Accords, Hamas faced a dilemma at the start of the 1990s: how to continue armed struggle for the total liberation of Palestine and to preserve its associated network. For this purpose, a timid dialogue was established with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the movement failed to even participate in the legislative elections of January 1996.
Following the 1996 suicide attack campaign which dealt a heavy blow to the Israeli civilian population, the Jewish state demanded that the Palestinian Authority curb Hamas. The dismantling of the organisation and arrest of many leaders quickly took precedence over the fragile dialogue that Hamas had established with the PA. Notwithstanding the efforts of Mohammed Dahlan, Hamas remained de facto in place. The dismantling of the organisation and arrest of many leaders quickly took precedence over the fragile dialogue that Hamas had established with the PA. Notwithstanding the efforts of Mohammed Dahlan, Hamas remained de facto in place.
...
In 1997, the historic leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, was released by the Israelis.
...
Generally speaking, Hamas was tolerated insofar as it did not oppose the PA.
During the second Intifada, Hamas grew in both political and military influence, joining forces with those of the al-Aqsa Brigades in armed action and many suicide attacks resulted in hundreds of deaths.[9] The movement further extended its popularity when Israeli forces murdered Sheikh Ahmed Yassin on 22 March 2004 and Abdel Aziz Rantissi, who was Yassin's chosen successor, on 17 April 2004.
...
Etzev also participated in the creation of local committees of Hamas in many cities and villages of Saudi Arabia.[10] Whatever the case may be, the substantial aid that Hamas received from Saudi Arabia was considerably reduced thanks particularly to international pressure.
III. From the decay of Fatah to the victory of Hamas in the legislative elections
In December 2005, Hamas beat Fatah in the main cities of the West Bank. This breakthrough was no accident. Following the example of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the members and sympathisers of Hamas - present en masse - organised themselves around the voting centres, distributing prospectuses and accompanying the voters right up to the door.
...
While Hamas positioned itself as the party of 'clean' methods and campaigned against corruption, Fatah was rent between two separate candidate lists.
...
Hamas, which had made the fight against the Jewish state its principal campaign slogan, followed suit several days later and also declared an end to the truce with Israel.
Called upon to renew the Palestinian Legislative Council for the first time since 1996 (when it was boycotted by Hamas), Palestinian voters of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem went to the polls.
...
After having suspended its direct assistance to the PA since the election of Hamas, the Quartet charged the European Union on 9 May 2006 with the task of creating a 'temporary' mechanism for bringing in aid without going through the Hamas government.
But at the moment when Europe finalised its aid mechanism, President Abbas froze the accounts of Hamas following repeated clashes between Hamas and the Fatah forces.
...
Meanwhile, after a long trip to raise funds, principally in the Arab capitals (Cairo, Damascus) but also in Tehran, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affrairs Mahmoud Zahar (Hamas) brought back nearly 20 million dollars in his baggage and passed through the border checkpoint at Rafah after the office of the President of the PA had authorised the transfer of money to the Ministry of Finance!
...
Since its accession to power, Hamas has not changed.
...
Mobilised like human shields by fundamentalist Palestinian radio, many women undertook to resist the Israeli Army in order to facilitate the flight of members of Hamas. Exchange of fire followed between the Israeli forces and male Hamas militants dressed up as women and concealed among the others! In the end, two activists and two Palestinian women were killed. The Prime Minister hailed "the women of Palestine who conducted a protest to put an end to the siege at Beit Hanoun.' Most of the media covering the scene spoke of the death of the two women instead of how they were used cynically by Hamas. The next week, a female kamikaze, Merfat Masoud, 18 years old, blew herself up in Beit Hanoun.
In November 2006, several hundred demonstrators joined by the Prime Minister of Hamas formed a human shield around and on the roof of the house of Mohamed Baroud, a member of the Committee of Popular Resistance.
...
By acting in this way, Hamas violates not only the first protocol of the Geneva Convention (article 51, which stipulates that the parties must abstain from using the civilian population to protect military targets from attack or use them as a screen for military operations) but it demonstrates - yet again - that in their view life (whether that of a civilian or a candidate kamikaze) has very little significance.
...
In a bloody coup d'état, Hamas turned against the armed forces of Fatah. There was pillaging, destruction of the infrastructure and official buildings, many of them having been erected thanks to money from European taxpayers, summary executions, the stopping of ambulances, breaking into hospitals, kidnapping and the murder of civilians, a fatwa against the political and security chiefs of Fatah and murder of UN functionaries. There were truly war crimes that went on for a week marked by incredible violence.
Two days later, on 17 June, Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the Prime Minister from Hamas and named in his place the Minister of Finance, Salam Fayyad (whose party won just 2% of the votes in the elections).
...
One notes that this strong action by the Palestinian President is against the Palestinian constitution, which requires that the Prime Minister be a member of the parliamentary majority (meaning from Hamas). He also proceeded to make official the split between Gaza and the West Bank, two territories which would now be run by two distinct governments.
...
According to the reports of the spokesman of Fatah in mid-August 2007, Hamas was guilty of the following abuses: 'shootings, the murder of Fatah activists at Khan Younes and Rafah, shooting during the marriage of a Fatah member etc.' For Hamas, these exchanges of fire and other incidents were part of the struggle to bring order and security to Gaza. And it must be said that this succeeded, since a relative calm returned to Gaza, and the host of armed groups were no longer attacking one another in a climate of anarchy.
Aside from the summary executions and arrests of supporters of Fatah, Hamas in particular deposed and arrested Dr. Saka, iconic director of the ShifaHospital in Gaza.
...
From the very first episode, the new character from Hamas says he wants: 'to take Farfour's path, the path of Islam, heroism, martyrdom and the Mujahideen (...) to take revenge on the enemies of Allah, the assassins of the prophets and of innocent children right up to the liberation of Al-Aqsa from its impurity.'[19]
The Hamas television station al-Aqsa TV then decided to broadcast a cartoon intended for a wider audience in order to denounce Fatah. The Fatah supporters are represented there in the form of rats who infest the West Bank and Gaza, while Hamas is symbolised by a powerful, pure-hearted lion. Political speeches during which the leaders of Hamas denounce Fatah are conveyed by a cartoon which, as Bissan Al-Cheik explains, is aimed at 'those who do not share the point of view of Hamas on Palestine, and those to whom Hamas wants it to be clear they will ruin their future fate if they oppose it.'[20]
...
Hamas never stopped asking the religious authorities que
Hamas and Hezbollah militias on ...
www.cijr.com, 29 Sept 2006 [cached]
Hamas and Hezbollah militias on parade emulate the style of brownshirts.
...
So when its terrorist enemies like Hezbollah and Hamas brilliantly married their own fascist creed with popular left-wing multiculturalism in the West, there was an eerie union: yet another supposed Third World victim of a Western oppressor thinking it could earn a pass for its murderous agenda.
We're accustomed to associating hatred of Jews with the ridiculed Neanderthal Right of those in sheets and jackboots.
...
[Syria]sponsors not only Hamas and Hizbullah, but also other groups in Lebanon like the Palestinian Asbat al-Ansar and the Sunni Lebanese group, Islamic Action Front, of Fathi Yakan.
...
Thus Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas runs around, most recently to the UN, claiming that his supposed national unity government (which doesn't seem to exist in reality) will ensure the moderation of Hamas.
...
EGYPT TO HAMAS: FREE SHALIT-(Gaza) Egypt has demanded that Hamas immediately release Corporal Gilad Shalit, abducted by Hamas-linked terrorists, to avoid a worsening crisis in the Gaza Strip.
...
Suleiman's message also demanded Hamas cooperate fully with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in forming a national unity government, reflecting Egypt's increasing impatience with Hamas over reaching a prisoner swap for the release of Shalit. (Ha'aretz, Sept. 27)
...
Suleiman's message also demanded Hamas cooperate fully with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in forming a national unity government, reflecting Egypt's increasing impatience with Hamas over reaching a prisoner swap for the release of Shalit. (Ha'aretz, Sept. 27)
...
In your midst, Hamas and Hezbollah are working to destabilize the region, and your government is turning your country into a tool of Iran.This is increasing your country's isolation from the world.
...
In its lethal form, this animus finds expression as state-sanctioned genocidal anti-Semitism, such as that embraced by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iran, and its terrorist proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah ...
...
God is everywhere, however, in the 1988 charter of Hamas.
...
Less than a year later, in January 2006, Hamas completed its journey from a fringe movement to the Prime Minister's Office…
In stark contrast to the PLO Charter, in Hamas's charter the name "Allah" appears a resounding 105 times; with 39 quotes from the Koran and the sayings and practices of Muhammad.Every part of Hamas's ideology is presented as God's eternal truth.Indeed, those who drafted the document opened it with the words, "In the name of Allah the most Merciful," followed by verses from the Koran that focus on Islamic supremacy -- fitting for a religious work, not a political document.Hamas is an acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement; the word "Palestine" is not even present in the movement's name….
Fatah and Hamas both seek Israel's destruction-so from an Israeli perspective there is little practical difference between the two.But for Palestinians, the two movements represent completely divergent goals.The PLO Charter saw the Palestinian state as temporary, leading to "Arab unity" [Article 11], while the Hamas Charter sees the destruction of Israel as leading to Islamic unity-and a time when muezzins will announce from Palestine's minarets the birth of the "State of Islam."[Article 9].
This transition from secular Arab leadership to radical Islamic leadership has significant implications.Under a Hamas government, peace and acceptance of Israel's right to exist will never be possible because Hamas sees the destruction of Israel and extermination of Jews as reflecting God's unchanging truths [Articles 7 and 3].
[W]hereas pronouncements made in Arabic by the Arafat-Abbas regimes, or a look at the school books they have produced, make it clear that Fatah never accepted Israel's right to exist, secular Palestinian nationalism always had an intrinsic potential for moderation ...But because of its divinely dictated ideology, however, acceptance of Israel is impossible for Hamas.
...
The current efforts between Fatah and Hamas to form a new unity government do not reflect a closing of the ideological gap, but a desperate need for renewal of Western funding.Whatever happens in the current efforts between Fatah and Hamas to form a coalition government, the fundamental ideological and theological shift in orientation described above is unlikely to change.
...
HAMAS DECLARES EU TO LIFT PA SIEGE
...
All the issues are open for discussion from out point of view, and Abbas can meet Israeli politicians from our point of view," Yusef said… Yusef said Hamas can offer Israel a hudna, a long-term cease-fire, but not a peace agreement.
...
As for its successor, the ultramontane Sunni Hamas, and its even more chiliastic Shia half-ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah, they do not want any accommodation or compromise, and they do not pretend to.They would be waging war against the Jewish state even if it were contained within the precarious boundaries of the 1949 armistice agreements.Even, in fact, if Israel existed only within the even more precarious limits of the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan.What we are seeing from the two independent centers of "resistance" in Gaza and Lebanon is an existential clash between those who adhere to primitive ideologies and an intellectually curious, democratic society.It is this kind of society--scientific, free-spirited, and, yes, even fun-loving and life-loving--that threatens them and to which they cannot adjust.These traits may constitute the essence of the Zionist achievement, a joyous rejection of everything grim in the Jewish past.
Hamas and Hezbollah made the identical mistake in abducting Israeli soldiers… President Jacques Chirac, who--like Vladimir Putin--has learned very little about Muslim fanaticism despite his bitter experience with it, was perplexed by the ferocity of the Israeli reaction to these deeds.
...
Prospects for peace in the Middle East have been dealt an enormous blow by the election triumph of Hamas in January 2006.Palestinian education, television shows, websites, and even families are all being mobilized in an intensified environment of agitated hatred toward Israel and Israelis.
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a founder of Hamas and the current PA foreign minister, understands the key role of education: "We will turn every facet of life into resistance.
...
Not only do the terrorists emanate from the camps, but UNRWA employees, who are themselves refugees, are often in the service of Hamas."
The UN Commissioner General for UNRWA, Peter Hansen, explained: "Hamas as a political organization does not mean that every member is a militant and we do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another."
...
Since Hamas is committed to mobilizing its youth for violence, revamping the Palestinian education system is a vital prerequisite to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [T]here needs to be a genuine attempt to reform informal education, such as summer camps, and put an end to the hostile propaganda (such as posters and television programming) that is so prevalent in Palestinian society.
...
Critics of the term chosen by the president, however, should remember what al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas and other extremist Muslim groups have said and done.
...
In the words of the covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement, better known by its Arabic acronym Hamas: "The land of Palestine has been an Islamic trust (waqf) throughout the generations and until the day of resurrection....
By winning the legislative elections of ...
www.esisc.net, 1 Oct 2000 [cached]
By winning the legislative elections of January 2006 and then taking control of the Gaza Strip during a bloody Putsch in June 2007, Hamas became a power to reckon with on the Palestinian political scene. Since then, the Islamic resistance movement has never ceased to be a terrorist organisation, responsible for the death of hundreds of Israeli civilians - and now of Palestinian civilians. Its founding charter as well as its ongoing and constant propaganda call for violence and the destruction of the Jewish state.
At the present hour, when the future of the Middle-East is still playing out in Gaza - despite the unilateral cease-fire decreed by the Israeli security cabinet, followed thereafter by Hamas, - we propose to shed some light on the origins of the Islamist movement right up to today, its doctrine, its objectives, its resources and the support which it receives.
...
In 1987, the outbreak of the first Intifada saw, at the initiative of the Muslim Brotherhood, the creation of an Islamic resistance movement, Hamas.
...
In August 1988, the charter of Hamas was unveiled.
...
During all of the first Intifada, Hamas and its military branch, the Ezzedine al-Kassam Brigades, positioned themselves as serious competitors to Fatah and the PLO. Condemning first the Madrid Conference, then the Oslo Accords, Hamas faced a dilemma at the start of the 1990s: how to continue armed struggle for the total liberation of Palestine and to preserve its associated network. For this purpose, a timid dialogue was established with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the movement failed to even participate in the legislative elections of January 1996.
Following the 1996 suicide attack campaign which dealt a heavy blow to the Israeli civilian population, the Jewish state demanded that the Palestinian Authority curb Hamas. The dismantling of the organisation and arrest of many leaders quickly took precedence over the fragile dialogue that Hamas had established with the PA. Notwithstanding the efforts of Mohammed Dahlan, Hamas remained de facto in place. The dismantling of the organisation and arrest of many leaders quickly took precedence over the fragile dialogue that Hamas had established with the PA. Notwithstanding the efforts of Mohammed Dahlan, Hamas remained de facto in place.
...
In 1997, the historic leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, was released by the Israelis.
...
Generally speaking, Hamas was tolerated insofar as it did not oppose the PA.
During the second Intifada, Hamas grew in both political and military influence, joining forces with those of the al-Aqsa Brigades in armed action and many suicide attacks resulted in hundreds of deaths.
...
Etzev also participated in the creation of local committees of Hamas in many cities and villages of Saudi Arabia. Whatever the case may be, the substantial aid that Hamas received from Saudi Arabia was considerably reduced thanks particularly to international pressure.
III. From the decay of Fatah to the victory of Hamas in the legislative elections
In December 2005, Hamas beat Fatah in the main cities of the West Bank. This breakthrough was no accident. Following the example of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the members and sympathisers of Hamas - present en masse - organised themselves around the voting centres, distributing prospectuses and accompanying the voters right up to the door.
...
While Hamas positioned itself as the party of 'clean' methods and campaigned against corruption, Fatah was rent between two separate candidate lists.
...
Hamas, which had made the fight against the Jewish state its principal campaign slogan, followed suit several days later and also declared an end to the truce with Israel.
Called upon to renew the Palestinian Legislative Council for the first time since 1996 (when it was boycotted by Hamas), Palestinian voters of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem went to the polls.
...
After having suspended its direct assistance to the PA since the election of Hamas, the Quartet charged the European Union on 9 May 2006 with the task of creating a 'temporary' mechanism for bringing in aid without going through the Hamas government.
But at the moment when Europe finalised its aid mechanism, President Abbas froze the accounts of Hamas following repeated clashes between Hamas and the Fatah forces.
...
Meanwhile, after a long trip to raise funds, principally in the Arab capitals (Cairo, Damascus) but also in Tehran, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affrairs Mahmoud Zahar (Hamas) brought back nearly 20 million dollars in his baggage and passed through the border checkpoint at Rafah after the office of the President of the PA had authorised the transfer of money to the Ministry of Finance!
...
Since its accession to power, Hamas has not changed.
...
Mobilised like human shields by fundamentalist Palestinian radio, many women undertook to resist the Israeli Army in order to facilitate the flight of members of Hamas. Exchange of fire followed between the Israeli forces and male Hamas militants dressed up as women and concealed among the others! In the end, two activists and two Palestinian women were killed. The Prime Minister hailed "the women of Palestine who conducted a protest to put an end to the siege at Beit Hanoun.' Most of the media covering the scene spoke of the death of the two women instead of how they were used cynically by Hamas. The next week, a female kamikaze, Merfat Masoud, 18 years old, blew herself up in Beit Hanoun.
In November 2006, several hundred demonstrators joined by the Prime Minister of Hamas formed a human shield around and on the roof of the house of Mohamed Baroud, a member of the Committee of Popular Resistance.
...
By acting in this way, Hamas violates not only the first protocol of the Geneva Convention (article 51, which stipulates that the parties must abstain from using the civilian population to protect military targets from attack or use them as a screen for military operations) but it demonstrates - yet again - that in their view life (whether that of a civilian or a candidate kamikaze) has very little significance.
...
In a bloody coup d'état, Hamas turned against the armed forces of Fatah. There was pillaging, destruction of the infrastructure and official buildings, many of them having been erected thanks to money from European taxpayers, summary executions, the stopping of ambulances, breaking into hospitals, kidnapping and the murder of civilians, a fatwa against the political and security chiefs of Fatah and murder of UN functionaries. There were truly war crimes that went on for a week marked by incredible violence.
Two days later, on 17 June, Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the Prime Minister from Hamas and named in his place the Minister of Finance, Salam Fayyad (whose party won just 2% of the votes in the elections).
...
One notes that this strong action by the Palestinian President is against the Palestinian constitution, which requires that the Prime Minister be a member of the parliamentary majority (meaning from Hamas). He also proceeded to make official the split between Gaza and the West Bank, two territories which would now be run by two distinct governments.
...
According to the reports of the spokesman of Fatah in mid-August 2007, Hamas was guilty of the following abuses: 'shootings, the murder of Fatah activists at Khan Younes and Rafah, shooting during the marriage of a Fatah member etc.' For Hamas, these exchanges of fire and other incidents were part of the struggle to bring order and security to Gaza. And it must be said that this succeeded, since a relative calm returned to Gaza, and the host of armed groups were no longer attacking one another in a climate of anarchy.
Aside from the summary executions and arrests of supporters of Fatah, Hamas in particular deposed and arrested Dr. Saka, iconic director of the Shifa Hospital in Gaza.
...
From the very first episode, the new character from Hamas says he wants: 'to take Farfour's path, the path of Islam, heroism, martyrdom and the Mujahideen (…) to take revenge on the enemies of Allah, the assassins of the prophets and of innocent children right up to the liberation of Al-Aqsa from its impurity.'
The Hamas television station al-Aqsa TV then decided to broadcast a cartoon intended for a wider audience in order to denounce Fatah. The Fatah supporters are represented there in the form of rats who infest the West Bank and Gaza, while Hamas is symbolised by a powerful, pure-hearted lion. Political speeches during which the leaders of Hamas denounce Fatah are conveyed by a cartoon which, as Bissan Al-Cheik explains, is aimed at 'those who do not share the point of view of Hamas on Palestine, and those to whom Hamas wants it to be clear they will ruin their future fate if they oppose it.'
...
Hamas never stopped asking the religious authorities questions relating to running the 'state' either to justify from the religious point of view measures of doubtful legality (authorising wire tapping or authorising arbitrary searches of the domiciles of opponents), or to
OUPblog » Middle East
blog.oup.com, 16 Jan 2012 [cached]
If not prevented from receiving nuclear weapons or fissile materials from patron states, such proxies (e.g., Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda) could inflict enormous harms upon targets that would be out of range of nuclear-tipped missiles.
...
By Daniel Byman In a rousing speech before Congress on May 24, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected peace talks with the newly unified Palestinian government because it now includes -- on paper at least -- officials from the terrorist (or, in its own eyes, "resistance") group Hamas.
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In a rousing speech before Congress on May 24, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected peace talks with the newly unified Palestinian government because it now includes - on paper at least - officials from the terrorist (or, in its own eyes, "resistance") group Hamas.
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And ignoring these differences underestimates Hamas's power and influence - and risks missing opportunities to push Hamas into accepting a peace deal.
While Congress was quick to applaud Bibi's fiery analogy, U.S. counterterrorism officials know that one of the biggest differences is that Hamas has a regional focus, while al Qaeda's is global. Hamas bears no love for the United States, but it has not deliberately targeted Americans. Al Qaeda, of course, sees the United States as its primary enemy, and it doesn't stop there. European countries, supposed enemies of Islam such as Russia and India, and Arab regimes of all stripes are on their hit list. Other components of the "Salafi-jihadist" movement (of which al Qaeda is a part) focus operations on killing Shiite Muslims, whom they view as apostates. Hamas, in contrast, does not call for the overthrow of Arab regimes and works with Shiite Iran and the Alawite-dominated secular regime in Damascus, pragmatically preferring weapons, money, and assistance in training to ideological consistency.
Hamas, like its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, also devotes much of its attention to education, health care, and social services. Like it or not, by caring for the poor and teaching the next generation of Muslims about its view of the world, Hamas is fundamentally reshaping Palestinian society.
...
One of the greatest differences today, as the Arab spring raises the hope that democracy will take seed across the Middle East, is that Hamas accepts elections (and, in fact, took power in Gaza in part because of them) while al Qaeda vehemently rejects them. For Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Ladin's deputy and presumed heir-apparent, elections put man's (and, even worse, woman's) wishes above God's. A democratic government could allow the sale of alcohol, cooperate militarily with the United States, permit women to dress immodestly, or a condone a host of other practices that extremists see as forbidden under Islam. So yes, Hamas, like al Qaeda, talks of an Islamic government, but in practice it makes compromises, as its unity agreement with Abbas and his regime suggests.
...
In power, Hamas has tried to Islamicize Gaza, and its rule in Gaza is notable for its repression, but it has not imposed a draconian regime as did the Taliban in Afghanistan, the only government al Qaeda ever recognized as truly Islamic.
In the end, Hamas is pragmatic.
...
Especially since the 2008-2009 Cast Lead Operation, where Israeli forces hit Gaza hard, Hamas has often (though not always) adhered to a ceasefire with Israel.
...
Gazans did not want to go another round with Israel's army, and Hamas feared alienating them.
...
Hamas needs no reminder that al Qaeda is more foe than friend.
...
In fact, the relationship between Hamas and al Qaeda, and between Hamas and al Qaeda-like jihadists in Gaza, is far more contentious. Zawahiri has blasted Hamas for adhering to ceasefires with Israel, not immediately implementing Islamic law in Gaza, and otherwise deviating from the pure faith of jihadism.
...
To prevent these ideas from eroding its support, Hamas has harshly repressed al Qaeda-inspired jihadists in Gaza, arresting and even torturingsome of the individuals linked to these groups, according to Israeli sources. In 2009, one Salafi-jihadist preacher declared Gaza to be an Islamic state; Hamas stormed the mosque that was his base, killing him and over 20 others.
But the biggest difference is that Hamas is a success while al Qaeda is a failure. Hamas has gone from a small group overshadowed by Yasir Arafat's Fatah to a large and powerful organization.
...
Whether we like it or not, Hamas is the government of Gaza - and terrorism helped them get there. And with the fall of Mubarak and the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as an important political actor there, Hamas may gain influence. Al Qaeda, in contrast, is if anything farther from its goals of ending U.S. regional influence and establishing a caliphate than it was 15 years ago.
...
Despite Netanyahu's rhetoric, Hamas cannot simply be wished away when it comes to the peace process.
...
Netanyahu's government may be dead-set against talking with Hamas, but treating it like al Qaeda and using this as a reason to not negotiate with moderates like Abbas only convinces skeptical Palestinians that negotiations will never work.
...
Intra-Palestinian politics remain on a steady course. Following a carefully-choreographed rapprochement with Hamas, the more “moderate†Fatah forces, still trained and funded by millions of U.S. tax dollars,  will quickly resume their ritualized terror attacks against Israel.
...
More or less simultaneously, Hamas will do the same. In Lebanon, Shiite Hezbollah, steadily mentored by Iran, and, oddly allied with Sunni Hamas, has already begun active operational preparations, with Syrian collaboration, for the next war.
...
Already engaged in a far-reaching diplomatic end-run around Jerusalem, neither Fatah nor Hamas will require Prime Minister Netanyahu's negotiated approval to proceed toward complete Palestinian sovereignty.
Isranet Daily Briefing Page
www.isranet.org, 28 Feb 2007 [cached]
We cannot be more lenient with Hamas than the Quartet.
...
But that agreement, signed in the holy city of Mecca, brought Hamas—which the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization—into a unity government without requiring that it recognize Israel or forswear violence against it.
...
So why did Saudi Arabia broker a power-sharing agreement between Hamas and the moderate Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, and his Fatah faction at the same time that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had decided to try to revive peace talks?
...
The Bush administration has a view that pits America, its Arab allies, Israel and Europe against Iran, Syria and groups, including Hamas, that the United States considers terrorists.
...
In the battle for influence in the Middle East, Hamas is a prize Saudi Arabia is willing to fight for… In the past year, Iran has been wooing Hamas, which is Sunni.
...
But our regional allies see this as a divide between Sunnis and Shiites, and Sunni extremists like Hamas may be extremists, but they are Sunnis first." "The Saudis," he said, "don't want Hamas on the Shia side, on the Iranian side."
The fight over Hamas began in earnest last year when the United States and Europe cut off most of the $1 billion in direct aid to the Palestinian government after Hamas…[bested] Fatah in legislative elections. Unable to cover its bills—or even to meet payroll for many of its civil servants—Hamas turned to Iran, which provided it with $120 million. Saudi Arabia meanwhile, shied away from giving much aid to Hamas.
...
It was a complicated set-up; the American-Israeli hope was that Mr. Abbas, empowered by peace negotiations, could call for new elections and see his Fatah party beat Hamas.
...
But less than two weeks before the scheduled Israeli-Palestinian meeting, Saudi Arabia brokered the power-sharing pact: Hamas and Mr. Abbas would politically cohabitate in a national unity government.
...
In the end, the Israelis said they refused to open peace negotiations with a unity government that includes Hamas.
**SAVE THE DATE**
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Hamas, which randomly sends rockets into civilian towns in Israel, has been placed on the road to respectability and soon politicians will again be chattering about "the peace process," a tattered phrase discredited by a generation of ignoble misuse but still a token of nobility to those who imagine they can mediate between Palestinians and Israelis.
...
It won't be long before we begin reading about Western diplomats cultivating "the moderate faction" within Hamas.
...
Today, the Palestinians are split into two factions, Fatah and Hamas.
...
Hamas, a relative newcomer, bases all its activities, from bombing to running health clinics, on one principle: Israel must be destroyed.
...
Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections of January, 2006. Those who believe Palestinians are essentially peaceful (and would comprise a model society if not for expansionist Israelis) explained this embarrassing result by saying that Fatah was famous for its corruption while Hamas, having so far failed to get its hands on much money, looks "clean" in the financial sense, at least by comparison with Fatah.
...
Hamas insisted that it still doesn't recognize Israel and never will.
...
Without it, there would be no reason for Hamas to exist.
...
The West, having sworn to oppose Hamas until it recognizes Israel and gives up terrorism, is obviously considering the restoration of funds.
...
It is only a matter of time before Iran stirs its operatives in Hamas to disrupt the accord—if only to upset Saudi Arabia, as Tehran views Riyadh as an archrival in its influence among Arabs. Egypt, vexed by being deprived of much influence over Palestinian Arab affairs—a fig leaf for its actual impotence in Arab politics—will push its operatives in Fatah to agitate so that it can mediate. Syria, never one to stay out of mayhem-making, will join in via Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has demonstrated its ability to meddle in the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict through Hamas and other Islamic groups in Gaza.
Palestinian Arabs cannot hope that Europe, America, or Israel will talk to a government dominated by Hamas, which says it shall never renounce armed struggle against Israel but will accept a "truce."
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To the West, it can be pretended that the new [PA] regime is more moderate—despite the fact that Hamas continues to dominate the government while maintaining its genocidal aim of wiping Israel, and most of its people, off the map.
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The basic plan is to create a coalition government for the PA, control of which was won by Hamas in the January 2006 election.
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First and foremost, the Saudis may be able to rent Hamas, but they cannot buy it. In recent years, Hamas has moved increasingly closer to Iran, the main source of its money; and Syria, where it has its headquarters. When Hamas won the Palestinian elections, this was a big victory for the axis and an encouragement for radical Islamist forces in general.
Yet in its ideology, extremism and anti-Americanism, Hamas is closer to Iran and Syria than it is to Saudi Arabia. Thus, the Saudis will be subsidizing some radical terrorist groups in the battle against other ones, and even this will be only a very temporary victory. In addition—and this is a real pity—the Saudis are not going to use the leverage earned by their brokering a compromise to Hamas's advantage and providing lots of money as a way to push or even force Hamas toward a more moderate position.
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—U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, stating that the U.S. was committed to working with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and would wait until after a new Palestinian unity government was formed between Fatah and Hamas before deciding how to deal with it.
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Rice met with President Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert earlier this week, following the announcement of the Palestinian unity government which ended the violent power-struggle between Hamas and Fatah factions. (National Post; Jerusalem Post, Feb. 19)
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"This means recognizing Israel's right to exist and halting resistance against occupation, and this is what we have repeatedly rejected."—Excerpt of a statement from the Palestinian terror group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, asserting that the peace deal between Fatah and Hamas reached a week earlier in Mecca is "not binding for us."
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This would embolden all sorts of groups, organizations and countries, radical streams among Israeli Arabs, Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Syria and the front movements it has already set up on the Golan border.
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In the 21st century, however, no one can compete with Iran, as Hizbullah and Hamas have already decided.
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--Vice Premier Shimon Peres, on the so-called Mecca Accords—the power-sharing agreement ending the infighting between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas.
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First, Haniyeh wants Abbas to approve a series of appointments made by the Hamas-led government over the past year and to rescind his decision to outlaw Hamas's "Executive Force."
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Under the terms of the Mecca agreement, Hamas is entitled to name three independent ministers, while Fatah may choose only two. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 14)
EIGHTY-EIGHT KILLED IN MARKET BLAST—(Baghdad) Bombs laid waste to crowded markets in central Baghdad Feb. 12, killing 88 people as Iraqis marked the first anniversary of a Shiite shrine bombing that pushed the country to the brink of civil war. PM Maliki, who has pledged to crush terrorists regardless of their sect, indicated that Iraqi security forces were gradually stepping up their deployment in Baghdad. "We have great confidence that Iraqis have realized that no one has a future in this country if we don't terminate the terrorists," he said after holding 15 minutes of silence in remembrance of last year's Samarra bombing. (National Post, Feb. 13)
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Of course immediately Nizar Rayyan, "a senior Hamas leader" is reported as assuring that "Hamas would never recognize Israel and that the deal on the government does not change the movement's position."
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The money quote of Hamas is the key phrase "they cannot ... " Only in the Middle East does the recipient announce to the benefactor the conditions of the hand out.
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Couldn't Hamas simply instead ask Iran, to cut back a little on the rockets to Hezbollah, and send it instead a few million for groceries? And if impoverished, where does the money for all the machine guns, rockets, RPGs, and explosives come from?
And does any Reuters reporter grasp the irony that it is precisely the US cut-off of this subsidy that at last has made Hamas pay any lip-service at all toward reconciliation?
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But the U.S. must also insist that Mr. Abbas dismantle Hamas as a military entity,
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