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Home arrow Palestinian Elections arrow Why Hamas Won
Why Hamas Won PDF Print E-mail
Feb 07, 2006 at 12:00 AM
Israel Created the Conditions for Hamas’s Success
by Neve Gordon [Counterpunch, February 7, 2006]

“Although it is still unclear what the future holds for Israelis and Palestinians, a few things can be said about the processes that enabled Hamas to win a landslide victory in the January 25 democratic elections and how the organization?s triumph will likely affect the local political arena.

Founded in Gaza at the beginning of the first Intifada (December 1987) by Sheik Ahmad Yassin, Hamas is a direct extension of the Muslim =rotherhood. Although in the media Hamas tends to be identified with its military arm, Izzeddin al-Qassam, which is well known for its suicide attacks against Israeli targets, the organization?s popularity in the Occupied Territories actually stems from its being seen as the voice of Palestinian dignity and the symbol of the defense of Palestinian rights at a time of unprecedented hardship, humiliation, and despair.

People who voted for Hamas emphasize not only the heroic acts of its combatants, but also its reputation for clean conduct, modesty, and honesty, which have been pointedly contrasted with the corruption of the Palestinian Authority. Many of its followers do not subscribe to religious fundamentalism, but rather support the organization due to its pragmatic approach characterized by support for the short-term objective of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, while still maintaining the long-term goal of establishing an Islamic state that would replace Israel and offer a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.

Most importantly, perhaps, Hamas acquired much of its political credit from its charity and social service networks...”

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Women's Boat to Gaza Captured

Zaytouna-Oliva Women Deported
Details Emerge about the Capture

Messina, Italy:  All 13 of the women on the Women’s Boat to Gaza are currently in the process of deportation after being captured by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and detained in a prison at Ashdod. Wendy Goldsmith, a member of the land team working to secure the release of the women stated that, “the deportation was much quicker than in prior flotillas. While we had a great legal team assisting the women, we suspect that the reason for the quick release was because of all the negative media attention Israel has been receiving for its illegal interception.”

According to early reports from the women released, the Zaytouna-Oliva was surrounded by two warships along with four to five smaller naval boats. The IDF gave warning to the Zaytouna-Oliva to stop their course towards Gaza. When the warning was refused, at least 7 IDF members, both male and female, boarded the Zaytouna-Oliva and commandeered the sailboat. This happened in international waters.

In the course of their capture, the women persisted in telling the IDF that Israel’s interception of their boat was illegal and that they were being taken against their will to Israel. 

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