Yezid Sayigh

Sayigh is Professor of Middle East Studies at King's College London and a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center from 2009-2010. Previously he was Assistant Director of Studies at the Centre of International Studies, Cambridge University (1994-2003), and headed the Middle East program of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London (1998-2003). In 1990-1994 he was an advisor to and negotiator for the Palestinian delegation to the peace talks with Israel, and since 1999 has provided policy and technical consultancy on the permanent status peace talks and on Palestinian reform.


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Hamas Rule in Gaza: Three Years On

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Prof. Yezid Sayigh
Middle East Brief 41, March 2010


Three years after taking control of Gaza, Hamas has established a stable and effective governing system despite a crushing siege and political challenges from Fatah and Salafist groups. In this brief Prof. Sayigh explores both the policies and the fortuitous circumstances that have enabled Hamas to consolidate its control over Gaza and to maintain its domestic legitimacy. The brief further elucidates the complex relationship between Hamas as an armed resistance movement and the government it supports, headed by Prime Minister Ismail Hanieh. Bringing to light the tension between the practical exigencies of governance and its core constituency’s Islamist and militant ideologies, Prof. Sayigh argues that Hamas has demonstrated its ability to innovate and survive. He concludes that the international sanctions policy has created a durable stand-off: Rather than spark mass discontent leading to the collapse of the Hanieh government, it enables Hamas to enhance its ruling party status.

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