“The transition of Hamas into a full-blown terrorist organization was complete. Many of its members had climbed the ladder of Islam and reached the top. Moderate political leaders like my father would not tell the militants that what they were doing was wrong. They could not; on what basis could they declare it wrong? The militants had the full force of the Qur’an to back them up.
So even though he had never personally killed anyone, my father went along with the attacks. And the Israelis, unable to find and arrest the young militants, continued to pursue soft targets like my father. I think they figured that since my father was a leader of Hamas, which was carrying out these attacks, his imprisonment would put a stop to them. But they never made an effort to find out who or what Hamas really was. And it would be many painful years before they would begin to understand that Hamas was not an organization as most people understood organizations, with rules and a hierarchy. It was a ghost. An idea. You can’t destroy an idea; you can only stimulate it. Hamas was like a flatworm. Cut off its head, and it just grew another.”
Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef
Very interesting point regarding extremist organizations, parallels Al Qaeda in my opinion as well.