David and Goliath : A study of the international sanctions of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority

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The events of 9/11 have had an impact on the world politics as well as current conflicts, such as the one between Israel and the Palestinians. The international community began to see democratic governance as an important factor for rebuilding failed or weak states. This led to renewed interest in Palestinian statebuilding by the United States and the European Union after two years of fighting and a deadlock in the peace process. The support of the United States and the European Union led to some important reforms with the Palestinian Authority and its institution, such as the establishment of the Single Treasury Account and the formation of a Prime Minister’s office. The death of Yasser Arafat, the first president of the Palestinian Authority gave the reformers a new impulse leading to the Cairo Agreement. In March 2005, representatives of Hamas and thirteen other organizations signed the Cairo Agreement, concurring on a cease-fire during electoral campaign and the elections, while the President agree to organise municipal and legislative elections which were welcomed by the European Union and the United States. The outcome of these elections, a victory for Hamas, led to financial and diplomatic sanctions of the Hamas-led Palestinian government. These sanctions aimed to comply with three principles set by the Quartet, namely to renounce violence, to recognize Israel and to accept previous agreements and obligations. The success, the level of achievement of stated goals, and effectiveness, level of economic damage done to the target, of these sanctions is explained by using four parameters: * The costs to the target; * The costs to the sender; * The stakes for the target; * The stakes for the sender. These parameters are used, because the level of achievement of the stated goals and the economic damage is not enough to define whether sanctions have been successful or not. An important question in the chapter on the success of sanctions is: at what end? This thesis will show that the international sanctions of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority although effective, they have not been successful in achieving the state goals while causing enormous disruptions in the Palestinian society leading to further political, geographical and ideological divisions. The sanctions have also had negative influence on the democratization process within Hamas and have deprived the moderates/pragmatics of their credibility.
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