What does transformative occupation look like from the vantage point of the colonized? This essay explores modalities of resistance to occupation: how local indigenous actors engaged in a liberation struggle navigate, respond, and adapt to the structural realities of indefinite occupation. By reconstructing the resistance discourse of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas during the Second Palestinian Intifada, this essay demonstrates the manner in which the movement’s resistance strategy came to encompass a political dimension. It argues that Hamas’s political engagement was not a transition away from resistance, but rather the continuation of resistance by other means.
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This post appears in conjunction with a dossier on transformative occupations in Humanity issue 8.2 There are two schools of thought on transformative occupations. Adam Scheffer narrowly contrasts it with the international humanitarian law (IHL) concept of belligerent occupation, whose main hallmark is its temporary character. Nehal Bhuta offers a broad historical version, running the gamut from the occupatio bellica of the post-Napoleonic settlement to transformative humanitarian interventions both in the post-WWII and the post-Cold War era, and more recently in Iraq. The 20th century Continue reading →