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politics and government of
the Gaza Strip
Hamastan (Hebrew: חמאסטן) 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". The term Hamastan generally relates to the Hamas administration of the Gaza Strip.
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.
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.
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".
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. The Arabic-alphabet spelling حماستان is used, though "Hamastan" was not created according to usual patterns of Arabic-language word formation, and is not really Arabic as such.
- Gaza Strip
- Media coverage of the Arab–Israeli conflict
- Islamization of Gaza
- Hamas Covenant – the founding principles of Hamas
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