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Essay on HAMAS: A Conventional Terrorist Group?

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HAMAS, an Arabic acronym meaning “Islamic Resistance Movement”, is the name of the socio-political organization currently in power over the Gaza Strip. For decades Jews & Muslims and Israelis & Palestinians, often one in the same, have fought for control over the region. Each have killed thousands of the other, destroyed infrastructures and used underhanded tactics to gain an advantage. Nations such as Japan, the European Union, the United States and (of course) Israel classify the group as terrorists, while nations such as Turkey, Russia and Switzerland do not. (King, 2010) Many factors are taken into consideration before a Nation-State denounces an organization as a “terrorist group”. A profile of HAMAS may help make clear why it is not uniformly denounced by all nations and with historical context, if they truly are freedom fighters in a resistance movement.
Genesis
The Nation of Israel was founded out of the eastern area of a British occupied (former Ottoman Empire) section of western Asia known as the “Mandate of Palestine”. There was an attempt in November of 1947 by the United Nations (UN) to partition the region into Arab and Israeli states with the Holy City Jerusalem as an international city. (United Nations, 1949) The Jews accepted this proposal while the Arab League and other groups did not. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006). What followed was an Arab strike that became violent and sent the Jews on the defensive. They rebounded and brought the civil war to an end, expelling over 250,000 Arabs. The day before the British mandate was set to expire; the region was invaded by four Arab States starting the yearlong 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Ultimately a cease fire and truce was reached with the establishment of bo...


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...ember 14, 2011, from Washington Institute for Peace: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2653
Lockman, Z., & Beinin, J. (1989). Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.
Morris, B. (2008). 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press.
Netanyahu, B. (2002). A Durable Peace: Israel and its Place Among the Nations. New York, NY: Grand Central Publishing.
Spears, J. (2002 , January 8). Federatoin of American Scientists. Retrieved September 10, 2011, from Muslim Brotherhood: http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/mb.htm
United Nations. (1949). Background Paper No. 47. Lake Success, NY: UN.
Wikipedia. (2011, August 25). History of Hamas. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Hamas#Early_Islamic_activism_in_Gaza



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