US embassy cable - 89TELAVIV14032

ISLAMIC GROUP, HAMAS, OUTLAWED

Identifier: 89TELAVIV14032
Wikileaks: View 89TELAVIV14032 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tel Aviv
Created: 1989-09-29 14:37:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL MOPS KPAL
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 291437Z SEP 89
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9690
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
AMEMBSSY TUNIS
C O N F I D E N T I A L TEL AVIV 14032 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS: PREL, MOPS, KPAL,, 
SUBJECT:  ISLAMIC GROUP, HAMAS, OUTLAWED 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  ON SEPTEMBER 28, THE ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTRY 
ANNOUNCED THAT THE PALESTINIAN (SUNNI) MUSLIM 
FUNDAMENTALIST ORGANIZATION, HAMAS, HAD BEEN 
OUTLAWED.  ACCORDING TO THE IDF ANNOUNCEMENT, MEMBERS 
OF HAMAS, OR THOSE WHO SUPPORTED OR PARTICIPATED IN 
ITS ACTIVITIES WOULD BE SUBJECT TO DETENTION AND 
PROSECUTION. 
 
3.  THE SPIRITUAL LEADER OF HAMAS, SHEIKH AHMED 
YASSIN, HAS BEEN IN ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION FOR A 
NUMBER OF MONTHS.  HAMAS EMERGED AFTER THE OUTBREAK 
OF THE PALESTINIAN UPRISING. ALTHOUGH IT EMERGED FROM 
THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, ITS AIMS INCLUDE A MUSLIM 
PALESTINIAN STATE AND IT PROMOTES VIOLENCE AS A MEANS 
OF ACHIEVING THIS OBJECTIVE AND OF "PURIFYING" MUSLIM 
SOCIETY.  HAMAS IS STRONGEST IN GAZA BUT ITS 
INFLUENCE HAS SPREAD TO THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK. 
 
4.  ACCORDING TO MOSHE DAYAN, DEPUTY TO GOI CIVAD 
COORDINATOR SHMUEL GOREN, AND CIVAD ANALYSTS, HAMAS 
HAS GROWN CONSIDERABLY IN STRENGTH IN GAZA IN RECENT 
MONTHS.  IT HAS INCREASINGLY TARGETED SO-CALLED 
COLLABORATORS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO ENGAGE IN 
ACTIVITIES DEFINED BY THE ORGANIZATION AS 
ANTI-ISLAMIC.  ACCORDING TO THE IDF, HAMAS IS ALSO 
STRENGTHENING ITS ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND 
REMAINS HARDER TO PENETRATE THAN OTHER PALESTINIAN 
ORGANIZATIONS.  IDF ANALYSTS HAVE ALSO ASSERTED THAT 
HAMAS HAS BECOME A MAJOR INFLUENCE IN GAZA AND, 
BECAUSE OF ITS WILLINGNESS TO USE VIOLENCE TO 
INTIMIDATE OTHER PALESTINIANS, MAY HAVE BECOME THE 
DOMINANT FORCE THERE. 
 
5.  COMMENT:  EARLIER IN THE UPRISING, SOME ISRAELI 
OCCUPATION OFFICIALS INDICATED THAT HAMAS SERVED AS A 
USEFUL COUNTER TO THE SECULAR ORGANIZATIONS LOYAL TO 
THE PLO.  A NUMBER OF PALESTINIANS LOYAL TO THE PLO 
ALLEGED THAT THE IDF WAS USING HAMAS FOR SUCH A 
PURPOSE.  OUTLAWING THE ORGANIZATION INKCATES THAT 
THE IDF NO LONGER SEES -- IF IT EVER DID -- UTILITY 
IN ALLOWING HAMAS TO OPERATE.  THE ISRAELIS MAY HAVE 
BEEN PARTICULARLY TROUBLED OVER THE DIFFICULTY OF 
PENETRATING THE ORGANIZATION.  AS HAMAS HAS DIRECTED 
MORE VIOLENCE AGAINST ALLEGED COLLABORATORS, IT IS 
LIKELY THAT THE OCCUPATION AUTHORITIES DECIDED ACTION 
WAS NEEDED TO DISCOURAGE ITS FURTHER GROWTH. 
 
6.  COMMENT CONTINUED:  WHILE A NUMBER OF OUR 
PALESTINIAN INTERLOCUTORS ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HAMAS HAS 
GROWN IN STRENGTH, PARTICULARLY IN GAZA, WE DO NOT 
BELIEVE THAT IT CLAIMS THE ALLEGIANCE OF A LARGE 
SEGMENT OF THE PALESTINIAN POPULATION.  WE SUSPECT IT 
REMAINS LESS INFLUENTIAL IN THE WEST BANK. 
NONETHELESS, THE CHRONIC NATURE OF THE UPRISING 
COUPLED WITH STRINGENT ISRAELI SECURITY MEASURES, 
HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO GREATER VIOLENCE WITHIN THE 
PALESTINIAN COMMUNITY, PARTICULARLY IN GAZA.  IN 
ADDITION, ISRAELI DETENTION/EXPULSION OF MANY 
PALESTINIAN SECULAR NATIONALISTS HAS LEFT THE STREETS 
OPEN TO YOUNG TOUGHS WHO FIND IT ATTRACTIVE TO CLAIM 
RELIGIOUS, AS WELL AS NATIONALISTIC MOTIVES TO 
JUSTIFY THEIR ACTIONS.  END COMMENT 
 
 
BROWN 

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