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Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of the Militant Islamic Movement Hardcover – April 6, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; First Edition edition (April 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156025968X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560259688
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,248,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. 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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Review

"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

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard Sterling on March 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this book is worth reading and it DOES provide some interesting accounts and observations. However I definitely expected more. The author is a Palestinian who grew up in refugee camp in Lebanon and now lives in UK. The book is not based on long experience with Hamas. Rather it seems to be primarily based on interviews plus short experience in Gaza. I also felt there was some bias or misinformation in the book. For example the descriptions of Dahlan are quite favorable. When the book was written I believe it was already confirmed that the US and Israel had financed the Dahlan group which invaded Gaza in May-June 2007. This book does nothing to clarify that important history. See April Vanity Fair for the "Gaza Bombshell". I was also disappointed that the book gave little description to the long standing social services implemented by Hamas. Amira Hass' book on Gaza (written over ten years ago!) gives more thorough picture of why Hamas has achieved considerable support and popularity.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on October 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Inside Hamas" did not provide nearly the degree of insight regarding their motivations and goals that I had been hoping for; in addition, the material was more often confusing than not. Nonetheless, the book is worth reading for the information that it does provide - especially as to Israel's sometimes methods.

Chehab begins by explaining that one of Israel's strategies has focused on removing the influential and charismatic leaders needed to hold Hamas together. Assassinations, based on information from Palestinian collaborators (estimated to total over 20,000 over the years), are a frequent occurrence - both within and outside Palestine (eg. Jordan, Syria).

How does Israel obtain so many collaborators? Examples include mocked up photos to create sexual blackmail, blackmail regarding small initial acts of real of apparent cooperation, and arresting those suspected of having knowledge and then offering a choice between cooperation or torture. Another trick is to entice Palestinians into supposed al Qaeda cells, and then threaten to (or actually) tip the Palestinian Authority off regarding their identity.

Also included are stories of martyrs and their families (grieving, yet proud), along with Israeli retaliation by bulldozing the martyrs' former homes without allowing time to even remove personal treasures, and sometimes shooting relatives or celebrants within the area.

"Inside Hamas" reports that Hamas carried out suicide attacks after Israel agreed to stop financing and building settlements in Palestinian territory. "Why?" was not explained, and remains a mystery.

Palestinian martyr families received payouts from Saddam Hussein (Iraq), and from rich donors in Saudi Arabia.
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Format: Hardcover
Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of the Militant Islamic Movement may not be for those who are not familiar with the various factions in Palestine and other Arab countries. Zaki Chehab does a fantastic job in this condensed book of giving the inside stories from mothers and their sons devoted to suicide bombings to Netanyahu's (sp?) attempt to assassinate Khalid Michel and poignant interviews with many of the parties to the conflict in Palestine and other Arab influence in the Palestinians resistance. I would highly recommend this book, once the reader had read some other books on the conflict because this is dense and filled with great insights. Six stars for Zaki Chehab's tenacity and courage in covering these very important issues. I shall read his book about inside Iraq with anticipation. He is truly a gem for the issues of the day and points out the failures of the USA in not trying to even make any efforts to take steps to resolving the Palestinian crisis at the hands of the dangerous Israeli secret police and the conflicts between Hamas and Fatah. I would love to hear more of his speaking about these issues and look forward to the opportunity to hear his intelligent and compassionate views of any subject he sets his sights on to cover.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on March 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I thought this was a good, unbiased overview of Hamas. It provides an overall look at the different players, the history of Hamas, motivations of Hamas leaders and martyrs, and also an interesting discussion of Hamas' relationship to Al Qaeda (while Hamas is often lumped together with Al Qaeda in the western media, the fact is that they are 2 separate organizations that differ in their purpose. Chekab concludes that Al Qaeda is actually a threat to the Palestinian cause of statehood).
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