Iyad Barghouti, professor of sociology at al-Najah University in Nablus, is the author of The Palestinian Islamic Movement and the New World Order (1992) and Islamization and Politics in the Palestinian Territories (1990). He spoke with Lisa Hajjar on May 5, 1993.
How would you describe the appeal of Hamas and other Islamist groups?
Hamas now is the main competitor of the PLO. This is not because the Palestinian people are more willing to turn to religion per se, but because the current situation in the Occupied Territories has led more and more people to see Hamas as a “nationalist” alternative.
Are the situations different in the West Bank and Gaza?