Choosing to engage: Armed groups and peace processes
Publication date: 
2005
Accord issue: 
16

Of course Hamas and the other Islamist factions understand that there will never be parity in terms of military power, but at the same time they have the example of Hizbollah, which is perceived in Lebanon and Syria as having achieved a ‘parity of deterrence or fear’ with Israel.

Alastair Crooke

Alastair Crooke situates Palestinian Islamists within an Islamic conflict resolution tradition in which a just outcome to a conflict can only be achieved when both parties treat the other as an adversary worthy of respect – respect often achieved through violent resistance. Islamist groups implemented various short ceasefires in 2001-03 to test the Israelis’ seriousness about a political process but Israel remained largely unresponsive. Some Israeli officials recognised the need to try and co-opt Hamas into the political system, but others saw them as incapable of political transformation. Meanwhile international community failed to recognise the breakdown of the credibility of the Oslo process and remained bias against non-secular groups. Without more inclusiveness or a better understanding of legitimacy no end to the conflict is in sight.