In Israel, Hamas is seen only as a Jihadi terrorist organization. This view informs every discussion of the movement’s actions and positions, yet is misaligned with reality and with the way Hamas sees itself. Clinging to this misconception compromises our ability to understand Hamas and to deal with the question of Gaza, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian issue in general.
One thing is clear – Hamas is a bitter enemy of Israel. Its military wing, the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has carried out murderous terror attacks against Israeli citizens. Yet seeing Hamas only as a terrorist organization overlooks the meaningful social background from which the movement emerged and the massive strategic change it has been undergoing for over a decade.
Unlike other Jihadi and resistance groups in Palestine, Hamas is deeply rooted in Palestinian society.
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