Libmonster ID: U.S.-1247
Author(s) of the publication: BYSTROV City

The rise of Hamas to power in the 2006 elections was the result of a long path of internal development taken by the Islamic Movement of Palestine. Founded by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in 1973 in Gaza, the Muslim Association1 was transformed in 1987 into the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas , the first Palestinian Islamic political organization with a clearly defined and independent ideological concept. The appeal of Hamas, like its predecessor, the Muslim Association, to religious discourse meant finding a marker for the self-identification of the "1967 refugee generation2" as a social community-the "Muvatynun" 3, that group of the Palestinian ethnic group that remained within the national territory. This marker was necessary to integrate Hamas into the system of Palestinian political action, in which it acted as an alternative to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its supporting structure FATAH, the largest national action group led (at that time) by the chairman of the PLO Executive Committee, Yasser Arafat.

In this respect, Hamas was no exception. The nationalist idea that determined the emergence of all Palestinian political parties required each of them to find its own way of self-identification, which allowed it to occupy one or another political and ideological niche in the context of the national community. Such markers were the communist ideology that appealed to Marxism, Ba'athism in its Syrian and Iraqi versions, or Nasser's idea of Arabism. The decline or even collapse of these doctrines in the world and in the Middle East arena forced new generations of the Palestinian elite to search for other ideological markers that could allow them to participate in the political process. The Islamist political ideology ignored by the PLO factions allowed Hamas not only to find a way to identify itself politically, but also to help develop a religious discourse that became a new framework for Palestinian nationalism.

While Hamas established itself as a real political force after the first Palestinian intifada began in 1988, by the beginning of the second "al-Aqsa Mosque intifada" in August 2000, it was outside the system of the Palestinian National Authority (PA) established after the Oslo Accords (1993), and presented itself as a "popular organization"."the opposition. The result of this tactic was an unprecedented increase in the popularity of Hamas. In turn, the development of the internal Palestinian situation after August 2000 allowed the Islamic Resistance Movement to acquire the aura of a leading opposition force in the Palestinian territories, opposing the PNA authorities in their desire to negotiate with Israel and pursuing a consistent anti-Israeli policy.


Did the Movement's political and ideological discourse change during the second intifada, or did Hamas manage to go all the way to victory in the 2006 parliamentary elections, strictly adhering to the ideological guidelines that were formulated in the Islamic Charter, the fundamental program document adopted in 1988?

To answer this question, it is necessary to analyze the main themes of this discourse after the beginning of the 2000s: the vision of the intifada (its significance for the Palestinians, its goals and objectives); the attitude towards the Palestinian authority (its foreign and domestic political course, as well as events taking place within the power structures); the position towards the Palestinian authority (its To Israel.

a) The vision of the Intifada

Referring to Hamas documents from the second intifada proved that for it, the "al-Aqsa Mosque intifada" was an event that "united the Palestinians, bringing about the long-awaited national unity" 4, thus "ending the state of political fragmentation caused by the Oslo Accords"5. The movement emphasized that the intifada is a response to the Palestinian leadership's peaceful course and, unlike the "peace path that divides Palestinians", "the resistance will always unite Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank with those outside" of both Palestinian regions.6
In this regard, the goal of the intifada could only be to "expel the occupiers, liberate the sacred homeland, and return East Jerusalem and the holy sites".7. Such a formulation of the question naturally assumed that the only way leading to the realization of the idea of "liberation" could be only the "path of resistance", and not the "tactics of fruitless negotiations". In turn, the "resistance "" restored the significance of the Palestinians-

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the whole Arab and Islamic community is aware of this problem. " 8
The intifada was also supposed to activate the activities of the natural allies of the Palestinians from the Arab and Muslim world. They must make "a clear political decision to support and defend the Palestinian intifada; to provide open financial assistance to the Palestinian resistance and support the uprising with weapons." 9 The Arabs must "sever diplomatic ties with Israel, expel its representatives from their countries, and boycott Israeli goods." 10
b) Relations with the PNA authorities

During the 1990s, Hamas ' relations with both the Fatah movement and the Palestinian Authority structures led by Arafat were extremely tense, primarily because the Hamas leadership categorically did not accept the idea and practice of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiation process. Nevertheless, after the failure of the Camp David summit, which was held from July 11 to 25, 2000 with the participation of Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and American President B. Clinton, and the beginning of the intifada, the Hamas leadership welcomed the termination of negotiations with Israel. Spiritual leader Sheikh A. Yassin expressed his support for the PNA leader, who rejected "external pressure" and did not "make further concessions," 11 saying that Hamas "supported and will continue to support Arafat to the end in resisting aggression and refusing to submit to Zionist demands." 12
As part of this tactic, the subsequent resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations could not but lead to Hamas calling on the head of the Palestinian Authority to stop them. Osama Hamdan, the Hamas representative in Lebanon, said :" We call on the Palestinian authority officials to stop these meetings and contacts, as they serve the enemy and cause confusion among the Palestinian people. Anyone who accurately assesses the current situation understands that the path of (peaceful) settlement has reached a dead end. But even if this did not happen, this path would still not lead us to achieving the national goal. " 13
Hamas ' demand for a complete rejection of peace talks with Israel was shared by the majority of the West Bank and Gaza Strip population at the time. According to a survey conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Information and Communication (ICIC) in December 2000, 54.5% of its participants did not support the Oslo Accords, and 70.1% of Palestinians approved of the intifada. 14 This resource of support allowed Hamas leaders to harshly criticize the administration's actions, and the head of the Hamas Politburo, Khaled Mashaal, said that "by deciding to continue negotiations with Israel, the PNA leadership is pitting itself against the resistance around which the Palestinian people are rallying." This decision, he continued, "threatens to turn the Zionist-Palestinian conflict into a Palestinian-Palestinian internal conflict. The position of the Palestinian Authority is an irresponsible undermining of national unity. " 15
The emergence of the Road Map peace plan in 2003 did not change the position of Hamas. According to Hamdan, the aim of the plan was "to destroy the rights of the Palestinian people and weaken their morale", and the plan itself "aims to deprive the Palestinian people of the ability to resist" .16 In turn, one of the founders and leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, said:: "We are even against the Oslo accords, and the Road Map is even worse. We have made it clear that this plan is absolutely unacceptable - it takes into account all the demands of the Zionists, while not recognizing any rights of the Palestinian people."17. It is worth noting in this regard that the emergence of the Road Map has caused a split in Palestinian public opinion, with 55% of respondents in favor of and 39% against the plan, according to a survey conducted by the Central Electoral Commission. 18 However, according to the same survey, Palestinian public opinion continued to be divided. support the intifada - 75.3% of respondents supported it 19.

At the same time, the time of the al-Aqsa Mosque intifada was marked by the desire of Hamas to intensify the negotiation process with the leading PNA Fatah party, although in the mid-1990s the rivalry between these two political formations sometimes escalated into armed clashes. For example, meetings of representatives of both movements were held in Cairo under the patronage of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. At the first of these meetings, held in December 2001, the parties agreed on the need for permanent bilateral consultations. Sheikh Yassin described the relationship between the two movements at that time: "Our relations with both the Palestinian Authority and Fatah as a whole are developing positively and fruitfully. Sometimes, however, there are moments of tension in our relations, which is due to the different approaches of the parties to certain issues.-

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in the Palestinian political arena. In any case, for our part, we are doing everything possible to maintain good relations with our brothers in the Palestinian Authority and Fatah. " 20
This position of Hamas has not changed, even though I am a member of the group. Arafat, under pressure from the United States, went to the introduction of the post of Prime Minister of the PA, which was initially appointed by Mahmoud Abbas, whose candidacy was approved by the United States and Israel, and then Ahmed Qurei. It was then that the PNA leadership sent Hamas an offer to join the Palestinian government, which, however, was rejected. According to the leadership of the Islamic Resistance Movement, " this Government's program is based on the Oslo Accords and the Road Map, which runs counter to the hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people."21
The creation of the post of prime minister, according to one of the statements of Hamas at the time, " took place under the dictation of the Americans and Zionists, who even determined the circle of candidates for this post. These actions in no way correspond to the free national will of our people."22. This meant, in particular, that Hamas categorically opposed the proposal of the Abbas government to " demilitarize the intifada." In response to this initiative, A. A. Rantisi stated: "The new government is waiting for us to hand over our weapons and become defenseless like sheep." 23 These words came after the Israeli army attacked the Gaza Strip and the West Bank on the day of the inauguration of the new Palestinian government on April 30, 2003, one of the demands of the United States and Israel to destroy "terrorist infrastructure."24
After A. Qurei took over the post of Prime Minister, Hamas still refused to enter the government, but its leaders nevertheless formulated their demands for a new Palestinian authority. Hamas demanded "an end to discrimination against the Palestinian people and the return of the 'Arab street' to its legitimate rights, an end to the corruption that has led to the destruction of the Palestinian economy, and an unhindered flow of funds into the Palestinian economy from those charitable organizations that provide assistance to distressed Palestinians."25
Yet Hamas has not reached an understanding with the Government of A. Kurei. The figure of this Prime Minister (as well as his predecessor M. Abbas) remained unacceptable to Hamas: "We (Hamas - GB) disagree with him on all issues. After all, he is the "author of the Oslo mistakes", and we do not share his methods of resolving the conflict. In addition, it still relies on the Road Map. " 26 And one of Qurei's initiatives to create a binational state was harshly criticized by Hamas: "This statement shows the failure of the official Palestinian policy. After our efforts to create a state and achieve other goals, we suddenly began to talk about the dual national character of this state. This indicates that the government has lost any guidelines."27.

The tactics used by Hamas in the early 2000s (during the period of government reforms in the PA) were bearing fruit. The trend of growing popularity of the Islamic Resistance Movement continued. As of April 2003, according to the Jerusalem Center for Information and Communications, the ratings of Fatah and Hamas were equal, amounting to 22.6% and 22%, respectively .28
c) Position on Israel

In the ideological doctrine of Hamas, Israel is the "Zionist enemy", with which it is necessary to conduct an irreconcilable struggle until its complete destruction. According to the leaders of the Movement, their organization has never recognized and does not recognize the State of Israel. However, already in the 1990s, this situation was adjusted, taking the form of the possibility of a temporary truce with the "Zionist enemy", subject to the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

During the second intifada, Hamas continued to claim that the "Zionist enemy" must be destroyed. However, in the speeches and statements of Hamas leaders, the main emphasis was placed on ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories within the borders of June 4, 1967.* Sheikh Yassin clearly defined the position of the Movement: "Without the withdrawal of the occupying forces from our territories, there can be no solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict." However, the practice of temporary truces with Israel, in the opinion of the leadership of Hamas, did not lead to positive results: "The Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iraq and the Levant did not lead to positive results.-

* Before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

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The resistance groups initiated a cease-fire, primarily with the interests of the Palestinian people in mind. In addition, we tried to avoid the internal contradictions that Sharon (Israeli Prime Minister) tried to push us into. On the other hand, during the 50 days of one of the so-called "truces", 24 Palestinians were killed, 309 residential buildings were partially or completely destroyed, and 365 people were arrested."29
With regard to negotiations with Israel, the position of Hamas was as follows:: "Sharon does not seek peace. The only thing he wants is to escape from the current reality, seeking salvation in organizing a series of meetings aimed at"killing time". You can't sign a peace agreement with either the Likud Party or the Labor Party. We came up with the idea of a truce earlier. We took this initiative to show the world that we are a peace-loving people. " 30
During the" al-Aqsa Mosque intifada", Hamas ' position towards the "Zionist enemy" was tactically flexible. Of course, he still rejected the idea of direct negotiations with Israel, considering, as Sheikh Yassin emphasized, that " if we enter into negotiations with them, it will mean that we recognize it, give them our homeland, which they seized and which became their property. How can I negotiate with those who have seized my land, my homeland, who have driven me from my land?! There can be no negotiations, because even one sitting with them at the negotiating table will mean recognition of this state entity, and I am not ready for such recognition. " 31
However, the spiritual leader of Hamas himself said that " contacts with Israel through intermediaries are possible." Such a mediator could be the Palestinian Authority, which, as Sheikh Yassin noted, " once already gave me a letter after my release from the Zionist prison. This message was delivered to me by a Zionist rabbi ... but I refused to accept it from his hands and demanded that it be handed over to me through the Administration. And so it was done. When I want to get something from the Zionists, I turn to the Palestinian Authority, because we have absolutely no contact with the Zionist entity. " 32
On the issue of confronting Israel during the "al-Aqsa Mosque intifada", Hamas recognized only armed resistance, arguing that, as stated by one of the founders and leaders of Hamas, Mahmoud Zahar, "The movement is at the stage of self-defense and protection of the Palestinian people, so it is legitimate for them to use all available means. The protection of the Palestinian people by all means at our disposal is legitimate. Did anyone expect Hamas to applaud when faced with the killing, destruction, and destruction of businesses in the West Bank? Can anyone imagine that Hamas, or any of the fighting Resistance groups, will stand with bowed hands in the face of the daily crimes of the Zionists? " 33

How did the Hamas leadership define the organization it leads after the start of the second Palestinian intifada? "Hamas," Sheikh Yassin said, " is the people's choice, because the Movement enjoys the overwhelming support of the Palestinian people. However, our Movement is not only resistance and jihad, there are only a few hundred or thousands of people in this area of our activity. The people are well aware that Hamas is, first of all, a mass socio-political movement that deals with all issues of public life. If we assume that Hamas is only engaged in resistance and jihad, then this would mean the spiritual death of the Movement. In fact, Hamas operates in all directions within the limits of its capabilities and taking into account the reality around us." He continued: "Through its political activity mechanism, Hamas closely monitors the state and prospects of cooperation with various organizations, regimes, parties and movements in the context of a just solution to the Palestinian problem. The Hamas leadership considers this relationship between the military and political forms of its activities to be useful and necessary, and will continue to develop it. After all, through the political form of struggle, Hamas realizes the fruits of its military activities. On the other hand, military activities serve the success of Hamas ' political work. Thus, both forms of activity of the Movement are closely interrelated and complement each other. " 34
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This significant quote from Sheikh Yassin's statement proved that the Hamas movement does not focus on its combat activities, but considers itself, first of all, a political movement and has a political program.

In an interview with the Palestinian Information Center, which operates under the auspices of Hamas, the chairman of the Political Bureau of the Movement, H. Mashal, said:: "Some people think that having a political program means accepting one of the projects proposed by the Americans, Europeans, and Israelis. However, such an act is contrary to common sense. Where are the forces that fell for the tricks of the West and claimed to have their own political programs? They disappeared without achieving anything! A political program consists of clear goals, means to achieve them, and a developed strategy. The Hamas movement, which is supported by the majority of ordinary Palestinians, as well as many resistance organizations with which we stand united, has obvious goals: liberating Palestinian lands from Zionist occupation, restoring the rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to return to their homeland, and ending aggression against Palestinians both in the occupied territories and abroad outside the region, the transfer of Jerusalem to the Arabs " 35.

The era of the" al-Aqsa Mosque intifada " did not seem to show any change in the ultimate goal of Hamas and the means to achieve it. However, these changes did occur.

In one of his interviews at that time, Sheikh Yassin said:: "If the Zionists give us the opportunity to create a state within the borders of 1967, we will welcome it. But this is possible only under certain conditions, namely, if the right of return of Palestinian refugees is simultaneously realized, if this is not accompanied by recognition of the Zionist State and the renunciation of our rights to our homeland within the borders of historical Palestine. Only under these conditions will I accept the establishment of a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders as one of the stages of our struggle against the brutal Zionist enemy. " 36
At the same time, the statements of the Hamas leader quoted above proved that if there were changes in the political and ideological discourse of the Movement, they were not significant. Nothing else could have been expected - the era of the "al-Aqsa Mosque intifada" was a time that prepared the future struggle for power in the PNA, the field for which was to be parliamentary elections. Hamas ' successful tactics throughout the entire intifada period precluded any significant change in its rhetoric. At that time, the desire of the political wing of Hamas was much more significant (in contrast to previous years) focus the attention of the Muvatynun society on their social activities. Even while continuing to refer to the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades ' combat operations** as an integral part of the Movement's overall activities, the Hamas political leadership distanced itself from the combat operations they conducted. This became particularly clear by the beginning of 2004.


In 2004, the al-Aqsa Mosque intifada entered a period of stagnation. The outcome was disappointing, to say the least, for both the Palestinians and Israel. During the intifada, 2,124 Palestinians and over 1,000 Israelis were killed. Thus, the ratio between the number of Israeli and Palestinian deaths was approximately 1: 2 37. More than 50% of Palestinians were "below the poverty line". According to the UN, one in two Palestinians did not have a job. In addition, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land continued for all 4 years. Thus, while in 2003 the area of land expropriated by the Jewish State was 170 ha, by September 2004 220 ha had already been declared "state land" .38
During the second intifada, Israel also suffered great economic losses. A special study prepared by Arab League experts on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of the al-Aqsa Mosque intifada estimated that Israel's economic losses from the Palestinian uprising amounted to $ 30 million a day. The intifada has effectively frozen the already barely visible ties between Arabs and Israelis. Since the fall of 2000, Arab-Israeli trade and economic relations have been reduced to a minimum. Arab countries boycotted the products of Israeli firms, as well as companies that cooperate with Israel.39
Perhaps it was these disappointing results of the 4-year standoff that forced Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to put forward a disengagement plan with the Palestinians, which involved the dismantling of all Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank. The implementation of this plan was scheduled to begin on August 15, 2004.

The initiative of A. Sharon did not arouse enthusiasm among the leadership of Hamas: "We know the Jews and the Zionist occupiers very well," said Said Siam, a Hamas spokesman. - With the help of such tricks, they are trying to get out of the crisis in which they find themselves. But the fact that Sharon himself says this shows a lot. This means that he personally found himself in a crisis situation. " 40
By the time the plan was launched, Hamas had received two painful blows from the Israeli security services. On March 22, 2004, the spiritual leader and founder of Hamas, Sheikh Yassin, was killed, and on April 17 of the same year, A. A. Rantisi was killed.

A Hamas statement after Sheikh Yassin's death stated that although "the Zionist enemy wanted to end the Palestinian problem with this murder, Hamas will continue to fight for the faith." 41 And the Izz Brigades statement

* Hamas does not recognize the State of Israel and is always mentioned in quotation marks in certain texts. According to this logic, Israelis are residents of a non - existent State.

** The militant wing of Hamas.

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Ad-Din al-Qassam " noted that "until the completion of a hundred operations that, by the will of Allah, will shake the foundations of the criminal Zionist regime, we announce the complete mobilization of all cells of our organization in all cities and camps in Palestine."42
A blow to the Islamic Resistance Movement failed to prevent its success in the municipal elections in December 2004.Hamas won a landslide victory in Jenin, Nablus, and Al-Bir. 43 Overall, Hamas won in seven cities, winning almost 23% of the seats in 44 municipal councils.

In the second round of municipal elections held in May 2005, Hamas or its affiliated organizations won 38 of the 75 municipalities where elections were held (including 34 of the 68 in the West Bank, including Qalqilya). In the Gaza Strip, Hamas won 4 out of 7 electoral districts, including Rafah 45.

After winning the municipal elections, Hamas began preparing for parliamentary elections. At that time, the rating of Hamas, according to opinion polls conducted in the Palestinian territories, was only 18.6%, while Fatah had a 40% rating.46 This meant that the Movement's victory in the upcoming 2006 national elections did not seem a foregone conclusion at that time.

Hamas was not included in the electoral lists for the elections to the Palestinian National Council. However, the Palestinians who went to the polls were aware that the ballot paper called the "For Change and Reform" List included candidates from Hamas.

The pre-election program used by the Hamas movement in the January 2006 elections deserves special attention. The main goals of the Movement were to end the Israeli occupation, establish a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, realize the right of return of Palestinian refugees, as well as stop the construction of Jewish settlements and solve the problem of prisoners.47
As for the socio-political sphere, for Hamas, the main thing here was the implementation of "comprehensive and radical reforms" in the PNA. The aim of the reforms in government structures was to fight corruption and increase the efficiency of these structures. First of all, it was necessary to "reform the administrative and legislative systems" (including the reform of the constitution and the proclamation of Sharia as the main source of legislation), followed by "increasing the level of decentralization of power in the PA" (part of the powers was supposed to be transferred to local authorities). The judicial system was to be fully independent, and the courts were to be given complete freedom to administer justice.

The program also addressed issues related to the economic, social, educational and other spheres of life of the Palestinian society.

At first glance, this program did not seem to contradict the ideological attitudes of Hamas, but it did, to a certain extent, deviate from these attitudes. First, the main goal of Hamas was declared to be "the end of the occupation and the creation of a state with East Jerusalem as its capital", although previously it was not just about creating a state, but about liberating the entire territory of "historical Palestine". Second, even if one of the goals of the Movement remained "to oppose any form of normalization with the Zionists," it no longer said that negotiations with Israel were impossible in principle, but only that "cooperation with the occupiers in the field of security is considered a great crime against the nation and religion." Third, Hamas has consistently emphasized in this program that Islamic and Christian elements are integral parts of the Palestinian identity. At the same time, it was noted that the protection of Islamic and Christian (religious) property is one of the priorities of the Movement.


Elections to the Legislative Council were scheduled to take place in the summer of 2005, but PNA President Abbas (who took office as a result of the presidential elections in December 2004 after the death of Ya. Arafat on November 11 of the same year) postponed them to January 25, 2006.

In accordance with the new electoral law approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council, the number of deputies in the Council was increased from 88 to 132. It was also decided that the elections will be held under a mixed electoral system (a combination of the principles of majority and proportional representation). Thus, 66 seats in the new composition of the Legislative Council were to be occupied by deputies elected on party lists, and the other 66 seats were to be occupied by deputies elected by electoral districts. The Palestinian territories were divided into 16 electoral districts. 6 seats in the Council were reserved for 48 Christians.

The Hamas movement approached the legislative elections with the baggage of victories in municipal elections. The split in Fatah's ranks also contributed to Hamas ' success. For example, on December 15, 2005, the head of the Palestinian government (although only for 9 days) left A. Kurei. The reason for this short-term resignation was the Prime Minister's dissatisfaction with his fourth place in the party's election list. The day before, Fatah members who were in opposition to Abbas released their list of candidates for participation in the parliamentary elections, as opposed to the main list of the Fatah movement. In the list of the new party, called "Al-Mustaqbal" (Future), at the first number was Mustafa Barghouti, who was in an Israeli prison. The list also included the Minister of Civil Affairs, Mohammed Dahlan, and Abbas ' national security adviser, Jibril Rajoub-leading figures in the field of pales-

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in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, respectively.

In the January 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, Hamas won a landslide victory. Members of the Movement took 74 seats, Fatah - 45. At the same time, Hamas candidates won over Fatah candidates in 11 out of 16 districts.

The choice of Palestinians was influenced primarily by the political system that Arafat established after his return to Palestine from Tunisia on July 1, 1994. This system was authoritarian. Arafat relied on his old, proven Tunisian apparatus and on people who were personally loyal to him. This system was also clan-based. It did not involve the inclusion of opposition political forces in the power structure. It is the Hamas movement that expresses the aspirations and aspirations of this Palestinian stratum, which is not allowed to be governed by the state (here, first of all, we are talking about the Muvatynun environment). By voting for Hamas, the Palestinians voted to include a new political elite in the PA's system of government, protesting against its clan-based and one-party nature.

On February 18, 2006, the first meeting of the new Palestinian Legislative Council was held in Ramallah. The deputies took the oath of office and elected the speaker. He is a 58-year-old Hamas lawmaker and geography professor at the University of Hebron, Sheikh Abdel Aziz Dueik. The parliamentary faction of Hamas was headed by one of the leaders of the Movement in the Gaza Strip, M. Zakharchenko.

The Qureya government resigned when it became clear that Hamas had won. Abbas instructed Hamas to form a new government and began discussing with the Movement's leadership the process of forming a new government and appointing a prime minister. During the talks, Hamas officials said they were open to open negotiations with other political forces, including Fatah.50
A new Palestinian Government was formed by March 28, 2006. Since the Fatah movement refused to join it, the Government became a one-party government. It was headed by one of the leaders of Hamas and the first number of the electoral list "For Change and Reform" Ismail Haniyeh, and the most important ministerial portfolios - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Interior - went to the old and respected members of the Hamas movement-M. Zahar and S. Siam, respectively.

After the new Government was established, the PA found itself in international isolation. The reaction to the victory of Hamas and the composition of the new government by Israel and the United States was sharply negative, and all financial assistance to the Palestinians from their side was stopped, which equally applied to the European Union. Arab countries called on Hamas to negotiate with Israel, but continued to provide financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority. The internal political situation gradually worsened. The political crisis caused by the confrontation between two elites - the old one, represented by Fatah, which did not want to put up with the idea of losing, and the new one, embodied in Hamas, was aggravated by the severe economic crisis in the territory of the PA.

* * *

What did the Hamas victory bring to the Palestinians? On the one hand, there is a clear deterioration in the domestic political and economic situation, provoked by the unjustifiably harsh reaction of Western donor countries, which considered the coming of Hamas to power as a victory of the "war party" over the "peace party". On the other hand, there was a real force in the Palestinian power structure, which also represented a new Palestinian political elite. But this new political elite, inheriting the traditional political culture of the Palestinian community, did not seek to "integrate" into the existing system of power. On the contrary, it was focused on its destruction. However, Fatah did not want to cede power to the democratically victorious Hamas. The clash between the two leading political forces of the PA after the victory of Hamas was a matter of time.

The formation of a one-party government of Hamas, in which other parties and movements of the Palestinian political spectrum refused to participate, led to a crisis of State authority in the Palestinian National Authority, which developed against the background of the anti-Palestinian movement.-

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relations between the president and the government.

In early 2007, this confrontation turned into a fierce armed struggle between the security forces subordinate to President Abbas and the armed groups of the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip. The growing fire of armed struggle, as it seemed at the time, was extinguished when, thanks to the mediation of Saudi Arabia, the warring parties were able to reach an agreement during negotiations on February 5-8, 2007 in Mecca.

The agreements reached were only the first step towards achieving political stability and uniting national political forces. The second step was the creation of a coalition government on March 17, 2007, each candidate for which was carefully and painstakingly agreed.

However, the hard-won Government was never able to become a "government of national unity" and lead to the stabilization of the political situation in the Palestinian territories. Already in the first half of May 2007, armed clashes resumed in the Gaza Strip. Their further escalation led in mid-June 2007 to an armed coup and the seizure of power in the Gaza Strip by Hamas.

The June 14 coup resulted in the creation of two quasi-State entities: one in the West Bank was recognized by the international community as the legitimate and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, while the other became a pariah and was subjected to severe economic and political pressure, leading to isolation of the local Palestinian population and a deep economic crisis in the Gaza Strip. However, despite the complexity of the political situation in the Palestinian territories that has developed since the June coup in Gaza, which seemingly forever ruled out the possibility of an intra-Palestinian settlement, negotiations are more necessary than ever for both sides of the conflict.

For Hamas, they are important, first of all, from an economic point of view, since eternal existence in the conditions of an economic blockade is impossible. For Fatah and President Abbas-in a political sense, because any serious political action, whether it is negotiations with Israel or presidential and parliamentary elections, cannot be legitimate if only a part (and a smaller part) of the Palestinian society participates in the decision-making process. But if negotiations are vital for both Fatah and Hamas, this ultimately makes it necessary for Palestinian-Palestinian contacts to work out mutually acceptable settlement terms.

1 См.: Milton-Edwards B. Islamic Politics in Palestine. New York-London: I. B. Tauris Publishers. 1999.

2 Generation of Palestinians who grew up in refugee camps under the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

3 Muvatynun (Arabic. - fellow countrymen, citizens) - residents of Palestinian refugee camps in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

4 Resistance will Always Unite Us//Al-Ahram Weekly, N 504, 19 - 25.10.2000. Цит. by:

5 Ismail Haniyeh fi hiwar al-markaz al-filastyniy li al-i'lyan (Interview with I. Haniyeh to the Palestinian Information Center), 08.14.02 -

6 Resistance will Always... 7 Ibidem.

8 Ismail Haniyeh fi khivar...

9 Tasrikh Khalid Mashal fi Tahran (Statement by H. Mashal in Tehran), 24.04.01 -

10 Resistance will Always...


12 Sheikh Ahmad Yassin fi hiwar... (Interview with Sheikh A. Yassin to the Palestinian Information Center), 10.01.02 -

13 Tasrikh Khalid Mashal fi Tahran...

14 Polls Results. N 39 Palestinian Attitudes Towards Politics Including the Current Intifada, December 2000 -

15 Tasrikh Khalid Mashal fi Tahran...

16 Osama Hamdan fi hiwar al-markaz al-filastyniy li al-i'lyan (Interview of W. Hamdan to the Palestinian Information Center), 14.06.03 -

17 Interview with A. Rantisi//Al-Sabil, Amman, 25.11.03. Cit.

18 PSR - Survey Research Unit: Public Opinion Poll. N 7, 3 - 7 April 2003 -

19 JMCC Public Opinion Poll. N 48, April 2003 - 20 Sheikh Ahmad Yasin fi khivar...

21 Osama Hamdan fi hiwar...

22 Tasrih suhufiyeh al-harakat Hamas (Hamas Press statement). 08.10.03.

23 A Bloody Beginning//Al-Ahram Weekly, N 637, 8 - 14.05.2003. Цит. by:

24 Back to Square One//Al-Ahram Weekly, N 639, 22 - 28.05.2003. Цит. by:

25 Interview with I. Khania//Al-Hakaiq, London, 26.03.11. Quoted from:

26 Interview with Abu Marzouk//Al-Khalij, UAE, 15.12.03. Cit. by:

27 Sheikh Ahmad Yasin fi hiwar.., 16.01.04 -

28JMCC Public Opinion Poll. N 48...

29 Khalid Mashal fi hiwar.., 03.09.03 -

30 Sheikh Ahmad Yasin fi hiwar.., 01.10.02 -

31 Sheikh Ahmad Yasin fi hiwar.., 16.01.04 -

32 Ibid.

33 Tasrikh Mahmoud Zahar (Statement by M. Zahar), 06.03.03

34 Sheikh Ahmad Yasin fi hiwar.., 10.01.02 -

35 Khalid Mashal fi hiwar.., 03.09.03 -

36 Sheikh Ahmad Yasin fi hiwar.., 16.01.04 -

Mammad-zadeh P. N. 37 The Al-Aqsa Intifada: Some results of the 4-year-old Palestinian uprising. 27.10.04 -

38 Ibid.

39 Ibid.

40 Said Siam fi hiwar al-markaz al-filastyniy li al-i'lyan (Interview of Sheikh S. Siam to the Palestinian Information Center), 12.03.04 -

41 Tasrih suhufiyyah al-harakat Hamas (Hamas Press Statement), 22.03.2004 -

42 Bayan Kataib al-Sheikh Izz al-Din al-Qassam (Statements of the Izz al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades), 17.04.2004 -

Kapitonov KA. 43 Fatah is losing ground. 20.12.05 -

Kapitonov KA. 44 The Hamas movement is a key player in Palestinian politics. 11.11.05 -

45 Tasrih suhufi al-harakat HAMAS, 06.05.2005

46 On Palestinian Attitudes Towards the Palestinian Political Issues, N 53, December, 2004.

47 See hereafter: Barnamaj al-intihabiyah li al-Qaima al-ta'bir wa al-Islah (Campaign program of the Pro-Change and Reform List -

48 Qanun (9) li sanaa 2005 bi shaan al-intihabat (Law No. 9 of 2005 on the conduct of elections), (

Kapitonov KA. 49 MON: first session of the Parliament. 21.02.06

Kapitonov KA. 50 Hamas won... What's next? 31.01.06


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