Challenge and Counterchallenge: Hamas's Response to Oslo
While the Oslo agreement consecrated Hamas's role as a new national resistance to Israel, it ushered in a reality that progressively would tie the movement's hands. This article traces the impact on Hamas of the installation of the Palestinian Authority, particularly in terms of undermining the cohesion of a decentralized leadership whose various wings came to face differing circumstances. After the disarray following the February-March 1996 suicide bombings, Hamas appeared to be on the upswing, with its top leadership back from prison and the forging of a new consensus. With the Wye River Memorandum's determination to destroy Hamas, however, the future remains uncertain.
Wendy Kristianasen, editorial director of Le Monde Diplomatique's English edition, is author of From the River to the Sea? Islamic Politics for Palestine, forthcoming by I. B. Tauris. This article has grown out of many years of regular research visits to the Palestinian territories and Jordan and is based largely on firsthand sources.