What is Hamas? Palestinian militant group fires rockets at Israel
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – According to The Sun, Ḥamās is a Palestinian extremist movement and one of the two largest political parties in the region as described by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Over the years, Ḥamās has carried out bomb and rocket attacks in Israeli territory.
Since 2008, Israelis and Gaza’s Hamas guerrillas have fought three wars across the border and have seen numerous battles since the group took control of Gaza in 2007.
Israel regularly conducts deadly military operations against Palestinian armed groups.
On Monday (October 5, 2021), Israel conducted several airstrikes against Gaza, followed by a Hamas rocket attack on Tel Aviv.
According to the BBC, Ḥamās supporters consider Hamas a legitimate resistance movement.
“Hamas is also a resistance organization that runs the Gaza Strip,” the researcher told The Conversation.
Where does Hamas come from?
BBC News explains that Ḥamās is the largest Islamic extremist group in Palestine.
The name Hamas is an Arabic acronym for the Islamic resistance movement “Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya”.
Hamas was founded by a Palestinian cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
As a child, he devoted his time to the study of Islam in Cairo and later became a member of the local chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Since the late 1960s, Yassin has been preaching and doing charity work in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which were occupied by Israeli forces after the Six-Day War in 1967, according to CFR.
In December 1987, Yasin founded Ḥamās as the local political branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
This was followed by the outbreak of the First Intifada, an uprising by Palestinians against Israel, which controlled the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.
Since then, Ḥamās has been at the forefront of armed resistance against Israel.
The military arm of the Hamas-affiliated Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades has carried out anti-Israel attacks.
According to the U.S. State Department, Ḥamās maintains an extensive network of da’wa (clerical) activities, primarily in Gaza, including charities, schools, clinics, youth camps, fundraising, and political activities.
Hamas’ main base of operations is in the Gaza Strip, a coastal enclave of 1.7 million Palestinians.
From there, it remains a de facto force even after Israel’s unilateral withdrawal in 2005, the CFR adds.
What does Hamas want?
Simply put, Ḥamās does not recognize Israel and wants to return to what the Palestinians consider their ancient homeland.
In 1988, under the charter of this radical Islamic organization, it declared its intention to destroy Israel.
In its founding charter, Ḥamās calls for the creation of an Islamic state in historic Palestine.
This would be the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, which would include Israel.
Meanwhile, Israel says Ḥamās is responsible for all attacks from the Gaza Strip.
Egypt, along with Israel, has imposed a border blockade that has paralyzed the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip since it took it over in 2007.
Israel controls most of Gaza’s borders and coastal areas and decides who can enter and leave Gaza, including supplies.
Hamas has demanded that Israel lift these restrictions.
Hamas claims that Israel is occupying Palestinian land and rejects the occupation by launching rocket attacks from Gaza, to which Israel has responded harshly.