Hamas, or the Islamic Resistance Movement, is a Palestinian Islamist military and sociopolitical movement that grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni religious and political organization founded in Egypt in 1928 that has branches throughout the world. The United States, Israel, the European Union, and Canada consider Hamas a terrorist organization. The overarching U.S. goal regarding Hamas is to deter, transform, marginalize, or neutralize it so that it no longer presents a threat to Israel's security, to a peaceful and lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or to other U.S. interests. This report discusses U.S. efforts and policy debates on these issues.
Several published reports indicate that top Israeli decision makers now are seriously considering whether to order a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, and if so, when. This report analyzes key factors that may influence current Israeli political decisions relating to a possible strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. For Congress, the potential impact-short- and long-term-of an Israeli decision regarding Iran and its implementation is a critical issue of concern. By all accounts, such an attack could have considerable regional and global security, political, and economic repercussions, not least for the United States, Israel, and their bilateral relationship. This report has many aspects that are the subject of vigorous debate and remain fully or partially outside public knowledge.
This report discusses the political future of various countries in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. A change in the leadership in these countries could significantly affect their policies toward the United States and their willingness to cooperate with the United States in achieving the stability needed to advance U.S. interests in this important region.
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