Tareq Baconi focuses on Hamas as one of the major actors and most active ones in military resistance against occupation in the Palestinian case in his Hamas Contained book. Baconi, thus, avoids the emphasis on terrorism discourse and presents Hamas’s social and political aspects. The author aims to understand the evolution Hamas has undergone from its foundation in 1987 as a revolutionary armed movement seeking the liberation of historic Palestinian territories to contained governance in Gaza in 2017. To do so, the author interviewed the movement leaders and utilized published and unpublished written, oral, and visual resources about Hamas. The book contains six chapters and a critical conclusion. The authors’ voice emerges only in the conclusion, as the first six chapters are Hamas’s narrative through the interviews and other documents.
The first chapter focuses on the setting up of Hamas as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine (p. 21) after the outbreak of the First Intifada. The author traces Hamas before its official formation in 1987 as a social movement focused on education, religious revival, and gradual Islamization at the expense of immediate resistance (pp. 18-19). Baconi attributes Hamas’s emergence as a resistance movement to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) moderation with Israel and engagement in the peace path. He focuses on Hamas’s discourse to destroy Israel, which will lose momentum in the following periods.
In chapter 2, the author focuses on the period between the ending of the First Intifada through the Oslo Accords and the Second Intifada (2000). Baconi highlighted Hamas’s rejection and attempts to derail this trajectory through resistance operations. He also indicates September 11 as a turning point as Hamas emerged as a political party for the first time throu