A Look ‘Inside Hamas’

From The Christian Science Monitor:

Book On April 6, 1994, Yehia Ayyash, one of the more elusive members of the Islamic Resistance Movement known by its Arab acronym Hamas, left an indelible mark on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The man whom former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin called “the Engineer” dispatched a Palestinian named Raed Zakarneh on what would be a historic mission. When Mr. Zakarneh blew his car up, killing himself and eight Israelis at a bus stop in the Israeli city of Afula, he became Hamas’s first suicide bomber. The attack was retribution for a massacre perpetrated by a Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein, who threw a hand grenade into a crowded mosque, killing 29 Palestinians. And so Hamas literally exploded onto the world stage. Today, Israel and the US consider it a terrorist organization with which they refuse to negotiate. Yet neither they — nor the rest of the world — can afford to ignore Hamas, particularly since the group’s most recent historic feat: seizing control of the Gaza Strip and routing out Fatah, the main faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. So how did this marginal group, inspired by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, grow from its shadowy beginnings in the densely populated slums of the Gaza Strip to first win a landslide victory in the January 2006 Palestinian election and now to hold complete control over all of Gaza?

Zaki Chehab’s new book, Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of the Militant Islamic Movement, goes a long way toward answering such questions. Chehab’s book not only explains the methodical rise of Hamas, but also offers insights into the group’s psyche that go beyond the stereotypes perpetuated by so much of today’s news coverage.

More here.