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Hamastan (Arabic: حماستان‎‎) is a pejorative neologism, merging 'Hamas', a Palestinian militant organization and political party, and '-stan', a suffix of Persian origin meaning "home of/place of".[1][2][3][4][5] The term Hamastan generally relates to the Hamas administration of the Gaza Strip.

Linguistic history[edit]

The term emerged during the days of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and is suggestive of Hamas' Islamist ideology (rhetorically likened to the Taliban's rule of Afghanistan) or, alternatively, political ties with Iran. Since 2007, the term has been used to refer to Hamas' 2007 victory in Gaza over Fatah in the inter-Palestinian conflict.[6]

After Hamas' victory in the Palestinian legislative election of 2006 further heightened Western fears of an emerging Islamic fundamentalist state in the Palestinian territories, and various Israeli politicians, including Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu (on January 26, 2006, at a live IBA broadcast) increasingly employed the term disparagingly in the run up to the Israeli elections to berate Ehud Olmert.[7]

With the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, the creation of an Islamic mini-state in Gaza has been described by many commentators as "Hamastan" or "Hamas-stan".[8]

Originally, the suffix 'Stan' (land) is from the Persian language, not Arabic, and in general, it is not used in the names of Arab countries.

In this context the Fatah-controlled West Bank has sometimes analogously been called "Fatahland,"[9][10][11][12] a revival of a term originally used in the 1970s to refer to Southern Lebanon.

Hamas response[edit]

Moussa Abu Marzuq, of Hamas' political bureau, denied that the Hamas government was planning to turn the Gaza Strip into an Islamic emirate.[13] In an interview conducted by Peraino of Newsweek international with Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar. When asked by a Newsweek reporter (5 September 2005) "Some Israeli officials warn that after the withdrawal, Gaza will become Hamastan." Mahmoud al-Zahar responded: "It should be Hamastan. Why not? We are not corrupt. We are serving the poorer classes. We are defending our land. It should be Hamastan!"[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Safire, William (2006-12-31). "Year of the Stans". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  2. ^ a b Last Word: Mahmoud Zahar:In Praise of 'Hamastan,'” Newsweek International, Sept. 5, 2005 issue
  3. ^ ""Hamastan" - A Palestinian radical Islamist state, ruled by Hamas". Terrorism-info.org.il. 2005-08-30. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  4. ^ Fishman, Alex (2015-06-27). "How IDF Intelligence failed to predict 'Hamastan' in Gaza following Israeli pullot". Ynetnews.com. Retrieved 2015-07-31. 
  5. ^ Okbi, Yasser (2015-08-24). "Palestinian official warns of ISIS takeover if peace process not advanced". Ynetnews.com. Retrieved 2016-02-15. 
  6. ^ Claire, Sheera (2006-01-26). "Netanyahu warns of birth of Hamastan". Fr.jpost.com. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  7. ^ "Zionist Organization of America - Press Releases - Israeli Elections: Divided Message On Withdrawal - Economic Issues Highlight". Zoa.org. 2006-03-29. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  8. ^ Fundamentalists threaten Israel from all sides, The Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2007
  9. ^ Eldar, Akiva (2011-07-08). "Border Control / From bad to worse". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  10. ^ Jonathan Freedland (2007-06-19). "Jonathan Freedland: The scene of Fatahland flowering as Hamastan wilts is sheer fantasy". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  11. ^ Honig, Sarah. "Another Tack". Fr.jpost.com. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  12. ^ Muriel Asseburg. "SWP: Hamastan vs. Fatahland: A Chance for Progress in the Middle East?". Cfr.org. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  13. ^ Moussa Abu Marzuq Interview to Al-Masr al-Yawm, June 25

External links[edit]