A series of reports by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) takes a look at life in the Gaza Strip since Hamas took over, battling Israel, Palestinian rivals Fatah, and itself. The first four chapters detail the group's struggles with traditional foes, while upcoming chapters will deal with the group's role in Islamizing the territory.
Part one deals with the group's struggle with its primary rival, Fatah, which it violently ousted from Gaza in 2007. Both in rhetoric and through violence, Hamas contiued trying to undermine Fatah and its supporters on the domestic and international level. The unexpected April-May reconciliation between the groups lowered tension, but failed to stem Hamas efforts to undermind Fatah's support in Gaza.
After seizing the Gaza Strip, Hamas controlled the use of rockets as a military and political tool against Israel, according to part two of the series. Cease fires are used to rearm, train, and fortify positions.
Part three discusses the group's desire to control and influence the territory's political and religious landscape, and to deal with practical issues of ruling such as taxation, issuing building permits, and build an economy. Part four shows how being in power has exposed rifts between various factions of the movement, as Hamas tries to strike a balance between governance and hard-line ideology.
Upcoming installments will deal with the group's struggle as a middle ground Islamist organization, and the pressure it faces from more rightwing and Salafi organizations. The final section will discuss the delicate balance the group has struck with Egypt, which has radically altered its relationship with the organization since Hosni Mubarak's fall.
To follow the series, click here.