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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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Israeli court: American protester Rachel Corrie's death an accident

Haifa, Israel (CNN) -- Nine years after an American activist was crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer, an Israeli civil court ruled Tuesday that Rachel Corrie's death was an accident.

Corrie, 23, was killed in 2003 while trying to block the bulldozer from razing Palestinian homes.

Her parents filed suit against Israel's Ministry of Defense in a quest for accountability and sought just $1 in damages. But Judge Oded Gershon ruled Tuesday that the family has no right to damages, backing an earlier Israeli investigation that cleared any soldier of wrongdoing.

"I believe this was a bad day not only for our family, but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and also for the country of Israel," her mother, Cindy Corrie, said after the verdict.\

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