By Shaul Mishal, Avraham Sela

Because it emerged as a challenger to the PLO in the course of the Palestinian Intifada, Hamas (the Islamic Resistance circulation) has been linked within the public brain with terror and violence. Now Israeli specialists convey that, opposite to its photo, Hamas is largely a social and political circulation, offering huge neighborhood providers and responding continuously to political realities via bargaining and gear brokering. The authors elevate the veil on Hamas's strategic decision-making equipment at all of the the most important crossroads it has faced: the Intifada and the fight with the PLO, the Oslo accords and the institution of the Palestinian nationwide Authority, and the dilemmas surrounding the alternative among absolute Jihad opposed to Israel as opposed to the choice of managed violence.

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Though theological in character and taking as its point of departure the Islamic perception of jihad as a fundamental duty, the new discourse reflected a struggle between rival social and political viewpoints that might be explained in the context of state-society relations. Clearly, for militant Islamic groups, jihad in defense of Islamic lands was a useful rallying myth and a potential instrument of political mobilization. Hence, they adopted the classical interpretation of defensive holy war, elevating it to a primary precept—second only to the Islamic credo (shahada)—of the individual Muslim.

The  ShiÔi revolution in Iran helped stir the potent brew of militant Islam, especially in the Middle East. The plunge of oil prices caused a recession in the Gulf states and, concomitantly, a significant decrease in the demand for labor migrants, many of whom were Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza. In addition, the unstable Israeli economy, battered by a stock market crisis in , soaring inflation, and constraints imposed by the Israeli government or by free-market forces on the Palestinian economy, brought about a grave deterioration in social and economic conditions in the West Bank and Gaza.

In  the MujammaÔ created the Young Women’s Islamic Association (JamÔiyyat al-shabbat al-muslimat) as another association for social action and mobilization. The MujammaÔ was composed of seven committees: preaching and guidance, welfare, education, charity, health, sport, and conciliation. Because the activities conducted by the MujammaÔ did not encompass all MB groups in the Gaza Strip, power struggles emerged over resources and social influence.  Social Orientation The MujammaÔ’s activities were directed inward, focusing on the longterm goal of reshaping the Muslim community.

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