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Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations in Beirut has issued a new book entitled: “Opposition in the Political Thought of Hamas Movement 1994-2006: Analytical Study” by the researcher Wael El Mabhouh.

The book sheds light on the way Hamas envisioned the concept of opposition before it won the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006. It discusses how it manages its relationships with its homeland partners, irrespective of whether they agree with its thought and method or disagree with them. Thus the book presents Hamas’ notions and its stances vis-à-vis the Palestinian National Authority (PA) and its institutions, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and the national and Islamic movements working in Palestine. It analyzes these stances, focusing on the period that followed the Oslo Accords (1994-2006).

Publication information:

Title: al-Mu‘aradah fi al-Fikr al-Siyasi li Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah (Hamas) 1994-2006: Dirasah Tahliliyyah (Opposition in the Political Thought of Hamas Movement 1994-2006: Analytical Study)
Author: Wael El Mabhouh
Publisher: Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations – Beirut
Date of publication: First edition, 2012
Description: 17*24, paperback.
Price: $5

The book explains the movement’s understanding of political participation, elections and resistance, and how it dealt, on the one hand, with internal Palestinian issues, and on the other, with the struggle with the occupation; in light of the regional, international and local changes that occurred during that period.

Speaking about the political roots of opposition at Hamas during the period of the first Intifadah (1987-1993), the book indicates that the competitive relationship with the PLO and its factions appeared from the first moment of the movement’s inception and its participation in Palestinian political life. Its emergence as a mass movement came at the expense of the PLO and its factions. This had a bearing on the nature of the relationship between the two parties during the few years that followed the launching of Hamas.

Regarding the movement’s position vis-à-vis the peace process, the book holds the view that this position passed through many developments and transitions. This started with an opposition that had a general principled stance, which considered that the proposed peace settlement plans contain concessions that are contradictory to the movement’s vision in the interim and strategic term. However, later on, it accepted the interim solution and the principle of declaring a truce, without affecting its principle of refusing to recognize Israel.

The book concluded by saying that there were many internal and external political changes that reshaped Hamas’ vision toward numerous political issues; at their head, the participation in the political process and in legislative elections. Perhaps, the most important of these changes were al-Aqsa Intifadah in 2000, Israel’s withdrawal from GS in 2005, the September 11th events in 2001, and the Greater Middle East Initiative, proposed by the American administration in 2004.

It should be noted that this 166-page book is originally a thesis that won its author a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from al-Azhar University in the GS.

Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies & Consultations, 13/12/2012