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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10202/134

Title: Crescent and Sword: The Hamas Enigma
Authors: Knudsen, Are
Keywords: Islam
Political movements
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: Chr. Michelsen Institute
Series/Report no.: CMI Working paper
WP 2004: 14
Abstract: This paper analyses the popular support to Hamas, the most important of the Palestinian Islamist movements today. The paper charts the movement’s historical ascendancy from a fringe Gaza-based group to a mainstream Islamist movement and mouthpiece for dispossessed Palestinians. Since 2001, Hamas’s leadership has come under increasing attack from Israel, killing a number of the movement’s leaders and senior members, most prominently Sheikh Yasin, the movement’s founder and spiritual leader, and his successor as Hamas leader, Abd al-Aziz Rantissi. Nonetheless, Hamas’s duality as “worshippers” and “warmongers” has made the organisation extraordinarily popular among dispossessed Palestinians and a mounting political challenge to the secular nationalism of the PLO. At present, two-thirds of the Palestinians live below the “poverty line” and it is likely that it is in this disenfranchised segment of the population that Hamas finds its core support. Presently, about one in every six Palestinians in the Occupied Territories benefits from support from Islamic charities. Hamas, on its part, allocates almost all of its revenues to its social services, but there is no evidence that Hamas or the other Islamic charities provide assistance conditional upon political support.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10202/134
ISBN: 82-8062-098-2
ISSN: 0804-3639
Appears in Collections:CMI Collection (Reports, Working Papers, Articles etc.)

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