The Sociocultural and Political Influence of Hamas in Palestine

1959 Words 8 Pages
The Islamic Resistance Movement, also known as al-Harakah al-Muqawama al-Islamiya (Hamas), has proven to be an extremely agile and capable terrorist organization in Palestine. They benefit from a deep-rooted sociocultural infrastructure, highly lethal tactics and a complex hierarchy of leadership, all of which have allowed the organization to prosper for over two decades. As where 90% of terrorist groups wither and rapidly falter, Hamas has been able to quickly adapt to the constantly changing political and social environment of Palestine . This evolution, has always assured the organization a generous group of adherents. The necessity to change based on environmental stressors has likened it to a “multipronged organism, which has succeeded …show more content…
Both of these approaches would pave the way for Hamas’ seemingly bipolar tenure in Palestine. By the 1970’s, the Palestinian population was disillusioned by secularism, Westernization and materialism, and many looked toward the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic revival as an alternative . A drastic turn of events led to niche in Palestine that a more violent facet of the Muslim Brotherhood was willing to fill.
Since the 1950’s, the Muslim Brotherhood complemented the spiritual services provided
in mosques with social and welfare services, delivered through a network of clinics, schools, charities, drug treatment centers, and even sports clubs . However, since 1988, with the onset of the fist intifada, Hamas has followed an oscillatory pattern of violence and social charitable work. During the first and second intifada, Hamas inspired the greater Palestinian public to support violent means to incite change in the region. Conversely, during the Oslo peace process, when the majority of Palestinians did not condone the level of violence that was seen during the first intifada, Hamas dedicated more time towards their social roots, ultimately increasing their grassroots support. During these lulls in violence with Israel, Hamas successfully institutionalized Islamism in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. According to Sarah Roy, by 2000, 10 to 40 percent of all social institutions in the West Bank and Gaza were Islamic . Arguably, these expanded new areas of Islamic social…