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Hamas: A Community of Gazan Intellectuals


By Kung Chan

It is important to recognize that members and fighters within the Hamas organization are not primarily composed of laborers or peasants as one might imagine in historical communist movements like those led by Lenin and Stalin. Hamas is far from being a group of uneducated people; they are an intellectual community, primarily consisting of young intelligentsia. Within the realm of “Gaza intellectuals”, it is crucial to know about some of these prominent figures.

Three examples will be provided here: One of the most important of such personalities is the imam Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin. Yassin, a lifelong individual with disabilities reliant on a wheelchair, assumes a pivotal role as one of the founding members of Hamas. He emerges as a significant Palestinian intellectual, embodying a symbolic resonance akin to India’s Mahatma Gandhi, despite their fundamentally disparate ideological underpinnings. This juxtaposition highlights the complex interplay of ideological orientations within the context of political movements and intellectual discourse.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), at times considered to be associated with terrorism, was founded by a Gazan named Fathi Shaqaqi.Shaqaqi pursued his education in Egypt and tragically met his demise through an assassination orchestrated by Mossad agents in 1995.

Ismail Haniyeh, a Palestinian politician, was born in Gaza and graduated from the Islamic University of Gaza with a degree in Arabic literature. Within the confines of this institution, known for its pronounced religious radicalism, he became an active participant in student movements. He currently holds a senior leadership position within the Hamas organization and is responsible for fundraising efforts abroad.

The purported conflict between Israel and Palestine is, in fact, a tenacious struggle led by the resolute “Gaza intellectuals” against the entirety of the Israeli state. This persisting, asymmetric conflict, devoid of a discernible victor thus far, has engendered novel perspectives and insights into the role of intellectuals in the contemporary era.

About the author:

Kung Chan

Mr Kung Chan is the founder of ANBOUND Think Tank. Kung Chan is one of China’s renowned information analysis experts specializing in geopolitical and economic policies. 

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