From Publishers Weekly
In this compelling and sober portrayal, Chebab, an intrepid Palestinian journalist (who was nearly blown up in 2002), explains how the highly organized and notoriously militant Islamic group Hamas was elected to head the Palestinian government in January 2006, to the surprise of much of the world. Having tracked Palestinian resistance for decades, Chebab gained extraordinary access to key players in Hamas, like Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the group's spiritual leader until his 2004 assassination, and political leader Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Rantisi, also assassinated that year. Along the way, he details the group's history, from the dawn of the first intifada in 1987 to the present day, and looks to the political and economic dilemmas that hang over the group's future. Most fascinating are hidden figures Chebab brings to light: like Yehia Ayyash, "the Engineer," who introduced the suicide bomb into Hamas's deadly repertoire; suicide-bomb hopefuls who claim that "martyrdom is like a dream"; and proud mothers like Umm Nidal, who has three (of six) sons who have died as suicide bombers. The book is likely to be recognized as among the most definitive and important accounts of this divisive organization, whose goal remains to "reclaim the whole of Palestine as it had been before 1948... and to dismantle the [Israeli] settlements." (May)
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"Zaki Chehab's new book, Inside Hamas
, lives up to its title. Chehab, a prominent Palestinian journalist born in a refugee camp, has the credentials to tell this secret history of the radical Muslim group that now dominates Palestinian politics. Chehab draws on his interviews with Hamas leaders and Palestinian sources to draw vivid portraits of Hamas, their suicide bombers--and of its wheelchair-bound founder, Sheik Yassin. It's all here--from Hamas's Iranian connection to its secret war with the mainstream Fatah movement. Reading this book, it's obvious that Chehab has had access to some of the PLO's most sensitive files." -- David Ignatius, Washington Post columnist and author of Body of Lies