Evaluating Hamas’ struggle in Palestine
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This article examines the history and outcomes of Hamas’ involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By using published sources and conducting interviews with five incumbent Hamas officials living abroad, the article evaluates the group’s achievements and failures since the onset of its active role in the military struggle against Israel and in Palestinian politics against the other main actor, Fatah. It concludes that Hamas, while achieving some success in its military struggle against Israel, has not delivered the expectations of the Palestinian people, partly because it was squeezed into to the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Authority, and partly because international actors have blocked aid from entering the Hamas-controlled areas. Hamas is expected to continue fighting, but may partially withdraw from politics, as the people of Gaza are not happy with its governance due to higher unemployment, as well as the Israeli blockade and attacks.