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Prime MinisterIsmail Haniyah[1]
Foreign MinisterMahmoud Zahar[1]
FounderSheikh Ahmed Yassin, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi & Mahmoud Zahar
Founded1987 (1987)
HeadquartersGaza, Palestinian territories
Palestinian nationalism
ReligionIslam Sunni
Party flag
Flag of Hamas.svg

Hamas (Arabic: حماس‎, acronym of Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, Arabic: حركة المقاومة الاسلامية‎, literally "Islamic Resistance Movement") is a Palestinian Sunni Islamist terrorist group. It was started in 1987 during the First Intifada by Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi as the Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in Egypt. In the 2006 Palestinian election, Hamas got 74 of 132 seats in parliament and controls the Gaza Strip. The group wants to build a Palestinian state based on Sharia law in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip. It also advocates holy war against Jews and Christians, and wants Muslims to unify against them. Hamas does not recognize the State of Israel.[2]

Name[change | change source]

Hamas is an acronym of the Arabic phrase Arabic: حركة المقاومة الاسلامية‎, or Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya or "Islamic Resistance Movement".

Violence[change | change source]

Hamas is known for its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which plans and carries out attacks on Israel. Because of its policy of suicide bombings and rocket attacks on civilians in Israel,[3] the United States, European Union and other countries call it a terrorist organisation. The country of Jordan has made the group illegal. However, many of the international press, including the English-language edition of the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, refer to Hamas members by the more neutral term "militants."

Popularity[change | change source]

In early 2006, Hamas won a clear victory in the vote for the Palestinian parliament. Voters saw Hamas as an alternative to exchange the long-ruling Fatah party, the main part of the PLO. Fatah had not improved the Palestinian people's conditions and reached statehood, and was thought to be corrupt.

Running Gaza[change | change source]

Hamas has shown its organizational ability by building health, education, and social services to help the population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where there is much poverty. Such efforts have increased its support. In the first half of 2007, Hamas gained political control of the Gaza Strip, while Fatah keeps its headquarters in the West Bank.[2] However, Hamas has stolen large amounts of aid money and gotten Gaza in many wars.[4]

Hamas is also associated in some way with Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine headed by Ahmed Jibril.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (Hamas)". Transnational and non state armed groups. Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research Harvard University. 2008. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Hamas". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  3. "Hamas". Haaretz.com. Retrieved December 22, 2019. ...in 1993 Hamas launched its first suicide attack inside Israel, a practice that it would uphold from then on, causing massive Israeli civilian casualties.
  4. www.idf.il https://www.idf.il/en/minisites/hamas/hamas/hamas-exploitation-of-humanitarian-aid/. Retrieved 2021-09-14. Missing or empty |title= (help)