Israeli Human Rights Violations and Hamas Support : Researching Perceptions of Palestinian refugees in Jordan

dc.contributor.advisorVuković, S.
dc.contributor.authorWijchers, Lidwien
dc.description.abstractThe title of this thesis reveals the topic researched that resulted in this Master thesis to a great extent. Throughout roughly nine months of fieldwork carried out in Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, the hypothesis of perceptions of Israeli rights violations adding to support for Hamas was tested. This thesis discusses the outcomes of this research with the purpose of adding to human rights and the reactionism discourse. It is seen as an expansion of Social Movement Theory and the grievances debate, by arguing that perceptions of human rights violations can add to motivations for individuals to support political movements of an Islamic nature. Hamas exemplified such a movement in this research. The main hypothesis was separated into two sub-hypotheses based on a handful of research questions meant to guide the research. The sub-hypothesis identified the two main variables of human rights violations, and support for Hamas. A survey was composed in such a way that one section of the questions would answer how human rights are understood, experienced and evaluated by respondents. This section included examples of Israeli policies the international community views as illegal. In addition to the questions addressing demographics and human rights, a part was dedicated to Hamas and its policies. Data extracted from participant answers addressed research questions regarding the understanding of Hamas and acceptance of violence by respondents. Surveys were conducted in ten refugee camps managed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) across Jordan. While envisioned to apply the Snowball Sampling Method, this proved difficult in the local circumstances. Thus respondents were approached randomly and participated on a voluntary basis. In a few camps, contacts were used. Upon having visited ten camps and generating a participant pool of 197 respondents, outliers were approached for in-depth interviews. This, in combination with interviews with people of knowledge (experts), comprises the qualitative methodology used. Quantitative data was analyzed with simple descriptive statistics using SPSS. Frequency distributions make up the most part of the data analysis, complemented by correlations and split file analyses. The generated data was enhanced by both written answers given to questions on the survey, and those given in the interviews. Expert interviews added to the assessment of its relevance academically and socially. The quantitative and qualitative data supports the hypothesis. It was found respondents perceive their human rights to be violated, most notably the right to return. Israeli policies referred to triggered large amounts of anger and responses clearly exhibited frustration and in some cases hatred. The correct response to the perceived violations committed by Israel was seen to be carried out by Hamas in their violent policies. While violence proved not to be the all time favorite tactic of respondents, they saw it as the only effective and just response. These conclusions result in the recommendation for further research in the field of human rights perceptions and support for religious movements in general. Additionally, the research suggests that Israeli attitude and policy change regarding Palestinians is imperative. The fact that young and educated Palestinian refugees felt most strongly violated in their human rights, and most approving towards Hamas proves that the movement’s support is unlikely to dwindle in the near future. Readiness to co-exist with people of the Jewish religion was found, showing despise of policy and not of people.en_US
dc.thesis.facultyFaculteit der Managementwetenschappenen_US
dc.thesis.specialisationConflicts, Territories and Identitiesen_US
dc.thesis.studyprogrammeMaster Human Geographyen_US
dc.titleIsraeli Human Rights Violations and Hamas Support : Researching Perceptions of Palestinian refugees in Jordanen_US
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