In this second installment of his interview for JPS, Khalid Mishal, Hamas politburo chief since 1996 and head of the movement since the assassination of Shaykh Ahmad Yasin in 2004, continues his discussion of Hamas's evolution and strategy. Whereas the focus of part I was Mishal's personal background, political formation, and the founding of the movement, here Hamas's more recent history is foregrounded. From the unfolding conflict and troubled relations with Fatah since the mid-1990s, Mishal recounts the thinking behind the decision formally to integrate into the Palestinian political system born of Oslo by participating the 2006 legislative elections and joining the Palestinian Authority government. He also delves into the ongoing repercussions of these decisions, including the splits within the Palestinian movement culminating in Hamas's seizure of power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007. In the course of the more than three-hour interview, Mishal's straightforward manner is on display, as well as his willingness to be challenged on matters as sensitive as Hamas's suicide bombings and the targeting of Israeli civilians, the utility of armed resistance, and the morality of the struggle.
A Hamas Perspective on the Movement's Evolving Role: An Interview with Khalid Mishal: Part II
Mouin Rabbani, IPS senior fellow, is an independent analyst and writer based in Amman, Jordan. He conducted this interview in Damascus on 8––9 March and translated it from Arabic into English. Part I appeared in JPS 147 and is available online at www.palestine-studies.org.
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Mouin Rabbani; A Hamas Perspective on the Movement's Evolving Role: An Interview with Khalid Mishal: Part II. Journal of Palestine Studies 1 July 2008; 37 (4): 59–81. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jps.2008.37.4.59
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