HAMAS AND ISRAEL: CONFLICTING STRATEGIES OF GROUP-BASED POLITICS Sherifa Zuhur http://www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil/ FOREWORD This monograph considers the changing fortunes of the Palestinian movement, HAMAS, and the recent outcomes of Israeli strategies aimed against this group and Palestinian nationalism external to the Fatah faction of the Palestinian Authority. The example of HAMAS challenges much of the current wisdom on â€œinsurgenciesâ€ and their containment. As the author, Dr. Sherifa Zuhur, demonstrates, efforts have been made to separate HAMAS from its popular support and network of social and charitable organizations. These have not been effective in destroying the organization, nor in eradicating the will to resist among a fairly large segment of the Palestinian population. It is important to consider this Islamist movement in the context of a region-wide phenomenon of similar movements with local goals, which can be persuaded to relinquish violence, or which could move in the opposite direction, becoming more violent. Certainly an orientation to HAMAS and its base must be factored into new and more practical and effective approaches to peacemaking. At the same time, HAMAS offers a fascinating instance of the dynamics of strategic reactions, and the modification of Israeli impulses towards aggressive deterrence, as well as evolution in the Islamist movementsâ€™ planning and operations. As well, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict bears similarities to a long-standing civil conflict, even as it has sparked inter- Palestinian hostilities in its most recent phase. The need for informed and critical discussion of the future of Islamism in the region continues today. We offer this monograph to those who wish to consider this particular aspect of the Palestinian-Israeli-Arab conflict.