This book examines the political development and transformation of Hamas from a resistance movement into a political authority in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the group’s victory in the Palestinian national elections of 2006. From a political science and conflict transformation perspective, it focuses on the political opportunities, challenges and process of environmental and structural change which led the resistance movement to evolve from an underground militant group to a force in conventional politics. This study offers an analysis of Hamas’ formation, development, political and strategic transformation, and the organisational structure shifts required by the transition. Through the adoption of a peace studies perspective, Hamas Transformation: Opportunities and Challenges also explores the political changes made by Hamas, including the structural alterations that took place within Palestinian society in the Gaza Strip as a result of the group’s transition into political authority. This transition occurred despite the military takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas in 2007, and the Israeli military operations in 2009, 2012 and 2014. Additionally, the book also examines the new dimensions and phases of Hamas’ political development after its victories in the elections, Palestinian division and the setbacks of the Arab Spring. Offering a range of views regarding the experiences of Hamas in governance, the book concludes with an in-depth illustration of Hamas’ mixed strategy and tactics of governance and resistance.
Ibrahim Natil is a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin (UCD). He is an international development consultant and the founder of the Society Voice Foundation in Palestine. He has worked for several international organisations. He has authored, presented and published more than 15 academic papers during the last three years.