FATAH VS. HAMAS: CONTINUED STRIFE IN THE GAZA REGION
secondary current events, social studies, political science, communication
arts, and speech/debate classes
Objectives - Students will:
1. Read articles
related to the conflict between the Fatah Party and Hamas and participate
in class discussions about the ongoing conflict and the content of the
The Palestinian Authority has two major political parties, Hamas and Fatah. They are currently trying to share power even though their ideologies are very different. Hamas feels a religious duty to eliminate Israel, while the Fatah party is interested in peace talks with the Israelis. This conflict between the two parties has set up much internal strive and political violence within the Palestinian government.
In recent elections, the Hamas party gained control of the parliament, while the Fatah party leader is the president. This split in power has resulted in dual leadership/authority within the territory. Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by many countries including the United States, Israel, and the European Union. As a result, much of the aid to Palestine has been cut off since this party has taken control of the parliament, resulting in economic crisis for the area as well as international isolation. These things combined make Palestine ripe for civil war and continued conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis.
1. Review the conflict between Fatah and Hamas by distributing/sharing the Online Newshour article "Abbas Calls for Early Elections After Hamas-Fatah Violence" available at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/middle_east/july-dec06/abbas_12-18.html. Work as a class or in pairs/small groups to have students read the content of the article.
2. As a class,
work together to review what is already known about Fatah and Hamas by
discussing the following questions related to the two political parties
and the article.
3. Divide students into three groups: one representing Hamas, one representing Fatah, and one representing the international community. Distribute the Research Guide (Printer-friendly PDF) to each student. Using the Online Newshour resources cited previously, provide each group with approximately 15 minutes to find the answers to the Research Guide questions. All student should complete the Research Guide.
4. After all research has been collected, provide each group with approximately 10 minutes to work together to organize their information into a short (2 minute) persuasive speech that explains the group's position. The group should elect a spokesperson to present the speech.
5. After all three groups have made their speeches, facilitate a short discussion about the global impact of the Hamas-Fatah conflict using questions such as:
to National Standards
About the Author: Lisa Prososki is an independent educational consultant and instructional design specialist who taught middle school and high school social studies, English, reading, and technology courses for twelve years. Prososki has worked with PBS TeacherSource and has authored and edited many lesson plans and materials for various PBS programs over the past ten years. In addition to conducting workshops for teachers at various state and national meetings, Prososki works as an editor, creates a wide range of educational and training materials for corporate clients, and has authored one book.
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