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A recent story in Time "Inside Hamas" (4/5/2004) speaks to, among other things, this organizationâ€™s support of such mainstream institutions as clinics, mosques and libraries. This from an organization that until recently was partly subsidized with suicide bounties from Saddam Hussein and Saudi Arabia.
Is Hamas using blood money for recruiting outreach or is this a sincere effort to preserve Palestinian collections?
Whatever possibilities were percolating of Hamas considering a peaceful solution have been overwhelmed by the movement's declaration of "open war." The Sharon government too is consumed by the idea that might can prevail. When I asked Rantisi, the new leader of Hamas, whether he would accept a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, he all but dismissed the notion. "Negotiations," he said, "never achieved anything in favor of the Palestinians." What continues to sustain Hamas are the ever-growing numbers of Palestinians who seem to agree with him.