aka Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya or «Islamic Resistance Movement»
Hamas, the terror group turn political party, was created in 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.. HAMAS was formed in late 1987 as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Various HAMAS elements have used both violent and political means, including terrorism, to pursue the goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in Israel. It is loosely structured, with some elements working clandestinely and others operating openly through mosques and social service institutions to recruit members, raise money, organize activities, and distribute propaganda. HAMAS’ strength is concentrated in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood continues to share good interrelationships. Hamas has been in a violent confrontation since the organizations inception against Israeli forces that have resulted in the death of many Palestinians that have unfortunately been caught in the crossfire. Many upper echelon members of Hamas organization have been the target of Israeli air strikes. HAMAS currently limits its terrorist operations to Israeli military and civilian targets in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel. In recent years more and more kidnappings are starting to take place. Two of the group’s most senior leaders in the Gaza Strip, Shaykh Ahmad Yasin and Abd al Aziz al Rantisi, were killed in Israeli air strikes in 2004. The Intifada, the Palestinian public resistance that started the same year that Hamas was founded was central in making Hamas one of the most important and feared groups in Palestine. Hamas has never been willing to compromise or negotiate with Israel. Their central ideology is based on the idea that no party has the power to give up any Palestinian land. Jihad is the only solution to their struggle with Israel. HAMAS has not yet directly targeted US interests, although the group makes little or no effort to avoid targets frequented by foreigners. HAMAS continues to confine its attacks to Israelis inside Israel and the occupied territories.
Hamas' Charter calls for complete destruction of Israel and it will be replaced by a Palestinian Islamic State in what is now Israel. Hamas has further gained popularity by establishing extensive welfare programs, funding schools, orphanages, and healthcare clinics, throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The common Palestinian supports the ideology and actions of Hamas. Since the elections Palestinians have lost faith in the ruling Fatah party claiming corruption and are beginning to support Hamas more and more in elecrtions.
Hamas regards the territory of the present-day State of Israel — as well as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank — as an inalienable Islamic religious bequest, which can never be surrendered to non —Muslims. It asserts that Jihad to regain control of the land from Israel is the religious duty of every Muslim (fard `ain). Hamas does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state, unlike the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which has recognized it since 1988, and calls it the «Zionist Entity». Iran has been a very big supporter of Hamas and Iran's president Mahmoud Ahamadinejad has used this struggle to unite Muslims from the region against Israel. He has in numerous statements reiterated the ideology based on the Hamas charter including «wiping Israel off the face of the Earth».
Children of Hamas - video