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Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of the Militant Islamic Movementby Zaki Chehab
"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....Inside Hamas could hardly be more timely..." Michael B. Farrell, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)
Synopses & Reviews
One of the few journalists not to be surprised by Hamas's victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections was Zaki Chehab, one of the Arab world's leading reporters and among the first to interview members of the Iraqi resistance in May 2003. As a Palestinian raised in UN refugee camps in Lebanon, Chehab has unique access to and understanding to key figures, making Inside Hamas a rare window into the much-discussed but little understood radical movement.
Tracing the rise of Hamas, Chehab reveals how the group developed with the implicit encouragement of the Israelis — their first weapons cache was purchased from Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security agency — who wanted to weaken Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement. He uncovers the extent of the Israeli intelligence services' penetration of the organization, even at the highest levels.
Like Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon, Chehab shows how Hamas built a formidable social base in Palestine through its welfare programs. He also explains why in the face of the endless complexities, disappointments, and delays brought about by the Oslo Peace Accord, Hamas's strategy of armed struggle offers the Palestinian people a seductive, simple and deadly alternative.
Revealing for the first time how Hamas prepares their "martyrs" for suicide bombing attacks, Chehab also investigates their relationship with other groups, such as Hezbollah and Al Qaeda. The picture that emerges is of a political leadership driven above all else by a desire for power.
"In this compelling and sober portrayal, Chebab, an intrepid Palestinian journalist (who was nearly blown up in 2002), explains how the highly organized and notoriously militant Islamic group Hamas was elected to head the Palestinian government in January 2006, to the surprise of much of the world. Having tracked Palestinian resistance for decades, Chebab gained extraordinary access to key players in Hamas, like Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the group's spiritual leader until his 2004 assassination, and political leader Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Rantisi, also assassinated that year. Along the way, he details the group's history, from the dawn of the first intifada in 1987 to the present day, and looks to the political and economic dilemmas that hang over the group's future. Most fascinating are hidden figures Chebab brings to light: like Yehia Ayyash, 'the Engineer,' who introduced the suicide bomb into Hamas's deadly repertoire; suicide-bomb hopefuls who claim that 'martyrdom is like a dream'; and proud mothers like Umm Nidal, who has three (of six) sons who have died as suicide bombers. The book is likely to be recognized as among the most definitive and important accounts of this divisive organization, whose goal remains to 'reclaim the whole of Palestine as it had been before 1948... and to dismantle the [Israeli] settlements.'" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Journalist Chehab shows how Hamas, the radical Islamic movement, built a formidable social base in Palestine through its welfare programs and explains why Hamas's strategy of armed struggle and terrorism offers the Palestinian people a seductive, simple, and deadly alternative.
The radical Islamist movement Hamas shocked the world when it won a landslide election victory in January 2006 in the Palestinian occupied territories. One of the few journalists not to be surprised by this outcome was Zaki Chehab who has developed an international reputation as a fearless reporter and was one of the first to interview members the Iraqi resistance in May 2003. Fluent in Arabic, he is a Palestinian refugee who grew up in UN refugee camps and has unique access to and understanding of Hamas. Like Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon, Chehab shows how Hamas built a formidable social base in Palestine through its welfare programs. He also explains why, in the face of the endless complexities, disappointments and delays brought about by the signing of the Oslo Peace Accord, Hamas's strategy of armed struggle and terrorism offers the Palestinian people a seductive, simple and deadly alternative.
About the Author
Zaki Chehab is one of the Arab world's leading journalists. He is political editor of the London-based Al Hayat and of the Arabic TV channel LBC. For over twenty-five years he has covered Middle Eastern conflicts as a commentator for the Arab and Western media, including CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera.
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