Hamas and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The conflict between Palestinians and Israelis has heightened since 2001, even as any perceived threat to Israel from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, or even Syria, has declined. Israel, according to Chaim Herzog, Israel s sixth President, had been born in battle and would be obliged to live by the sword. 1 Yet, the Israeli government s conquest and occupation of the West Bank and Gaza brought about a very difficult challenge, although resistance on a mass basis was only taken up years later in the First Intifadha. Israel could not tolerate Palestinian Arabs resistance of their authority on the legal basis of denial of self-determination,2 and eventually preferred to grant some measures of self-determination while continuing to consolidate control of the Occupied Territories, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. However, a comprehensive peace, shimmering in the distance, has eluded all. Inter-Israeli and inter-Palestinian divisions deepened as peace danced closer before retreating. Israel s stance towards the democratically-elected Palestinian government headed by HAMAS in 2006, and towards Palestinian national coherence legal, territorial, political, and economic has been a major obstacle to substantive peacemaking. The reasons for recalcitrant Israeli and HAMAS stances illustrate both continuities and changes in the dynamics of conflict since the Oslo period roughly 1994 to the al-Aqsa Intifadha of 2000. Now, more than ever, a long-term truce and negotiations are necessary. These could lead in stages to that mirage-like peace, and a new type of security regime.
- Government and Political Science