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Getting ahead in Hamas: It helps to have street cred

Young people are finding it difficult to move up the ranks in Hamas, as senior positions are usually reserved for prominent figures such as religious scholars, parliament members and those who have earned their stripes in Israeli prisons.
Supporters of the Palestinian Hamas movement stand between Hamas movement flags as they attend a rally to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the movement on the streets of the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on December 9, 2016. / AFP / MOHAMMED ABED        (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
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Hamas is celebrating its anniversary this month, with thousands of young people participating in mass rallies in the Gaza Strip to commemorate the group's founding on Dec. 14, 1987.

The fundamentalist Islamic movement's young people are active in its organizational and partisan bodies and are a valuable asset when it comes to armed operations. This is why Hamas’ youth are seen as the main driving force of the movement’s field operations. Yet its younger members are noticeably absent in leadership positions.

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