National Geographic : 1996 Sep
Grassroots of radicalism I WAS INVITED to a Hamas bach elor party on a side street in Rafah and photographed these men putting up a backdrop (left) for the band that was about to play. The group's name is the Martyrs, and practically every song in their repertoire is about a terrorist who died attacking Israelis, like the suicide car bomber who tried to destroy an Israeli bus on the highway, failed, and wound up blowing himself and his vehicle to bits (below, left). Radical Islamic organizations are popular for a reason. Hamas grew strong during the occu pation because it was one of the few groups other than the United Nations that provided social services such as clinics and schools to the people of Gaza. Then there are the people in between. I visited an Israeli mili tary barracks (below) where the families of collaborators people who cooperated with Israel during the occupation are kept for their own protec tion. They're scorned in Israel, hated with a vengeance in Gaza.