Received Date: 12/26/2019 • Accepted Date: 01/31/2020
As a state-like and armed non-state actor, Hamas (Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, Islamic Resistance Movement) has a complex identity. Since its foundation in 1987, the organization has been a dominant actor in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict due to its ongoing combat against Israel. However, the organization’s military combat and political activities have had intra-community, regional, and international implications. Domestically, Hamas is now contending with its main Palestinian rival, Fatah, and striving to meet the needs of the Gazan population. Meanwhile, Israel’s pressure on Palestine has risen due to Hamas’ armed resistance and hardline politics. The group’s militant image also threatens to undermine sympathy and support for the Palestinian cause. However, a non-state armed group such as Hamas would inevitably come into being since Palestine is under Israeli occupation. Hamas is not the first Palestinian armed group, and if current circumstances continue unchanged, it will not be the last one that opts to fight to find a solution to the conflict. However, whether fighting is the correct way to realize a non-state actor’s goals is questionable.