x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Sara Roy: Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza

A nuanced picture of the inner workings of Hamas and its relationship with Gazan society.

Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza
Sara Roy
Princeton University Press
Dh132
Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza Sara Roy Princeton University Press Dh132

Sara Roy says she has always made it a priority in her research to live among the Palestinians and "walk in their shoes", incorporating personal stories from those working in the Islamic social sector into her analysis.

This is reflected in Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza, the Jewish academic's effort to provide a nuanced picture of the inner workings of Hamas and its relationship with Gazan society.

Although Roy acknowledges that Hamas, the Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip, has committed extreme acts of terrorism, she stresses that "it is also an increasingly complex, varied and sophisticated organisation engaged in a variety of societal activities vital to Palestinian life" including medical care and education.

Roy, who has spent 25 years conducting research on the Gaza Strip and West Bank, argues that there will never be a credible peace process until Israel and the international community stop regarding Hamas as little more than a political front for a terrorist organisation and, instead, recognise its broader institutional legitimacy by inviting it to the table.