Hamas: A Social Welfare Government or War Machine?

By December 1, 2015

Mideast Security and Policy Studies No. 116

This study evaluates the veracity of the Hamas claim to concern for Palestinian welfare. Hamas prides itself on a reputation for dedication to the welfare of Palestinians. It retains this image despite its responsibility for many kidnappings, suicide bombings and missile attacks against Israel, bringing three rounds of military conflict upon the Palestinians in Gaza over the past seven years. Prof. Frisch assesses the extent to which the Hamas government has balanced the costs of war-making with the needs of the population it ostensibly serves. He shows Hamas’ multiple failures in this regard. In particular, he highlights Hamas’ failures at state-building and reconstruction, despite international donor funds at Hamas’ disposal. Hamas rule in Gaza, he says, is yet another case study of the disastrous leadership which has plagued the Palestinian national movement since its inception.

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Prof. Hillel Frisch
Prof. Hillel Frisch

Prof. Hillel Frisch is a professor of political studies and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. Email: [email protected]