- What is Hamas?
- Learn about the Palestinian terrorist organization.
- They receive funding from Iran.
On Saturday, October 7, another conflict erupted between Israel and Palestine.
Armed groups of Palestinian Islamic fundamentalists launched an attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Among these groups are members of Hamas, who receive support from Iran. But what is Hamas?
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Founded on December 10, 1987, Hamas stands for the Islamic Resistance Movement in Arabic.
It is a Palestinian political and paramilitary organization that defines itself as jihadist, nationalist and Islamic.
According to CNN, this group insists they are trying to free Palestinian territories from Israeli occupation.
Believing Israel to be an illegitimate state, their goal is to establish a fundamentalist Islamic Palestinian state.
More about Hamas
Khaleed Meshaal has led Hamas since 2004 and is based in the West Bank of the Jordan River and Gaza.
It’s worth noting that this organization refuses to engage in dialogue with Israeli authorities, but that’s not the most concerning aspect.
In 1993 they opposed the Oslo Accords, a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
The PLO abandoned armed resistance against Israel in exchange for promises of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.
An alternative to the Palestinian Authority
Furthermore, what sets Hamas apart is that it presents itself as an alternative to the Palestinian Authority.
President Mahmoud Abbas leads the Palestinian Authority, which lacks credibility among many Palestinians.
Additionally, Hamas has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Israel for several years. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States.
The European Union and Israel have also designated them as such. It seems that the worst is yet to come.
Who is funding Hamas?
According to CNN, Hamas receives funding, weapons and training from Iran.
The U.S. State Department reported this in 2021, in addition to saying Arab Gulf countries are providing them with funds.
Furthermore, they receive donations from some Palestinians, expatriates and their own charitable organizations.
Hamas has branches dedicated to religious, military, political and security activities. Their military wing is known as the Qassam Brigades.
Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007
It’s essential to note that Hamas has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007 after winning parliamentary elections a year earlier.
However, in 2007, they violently seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority.
The Palestinian Authority, which dominates the rival Al Fatah movement, administers semi-autonomous areas in the West Bank, occupied by Israel.
In response, Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza, restricting the movement of people and goods.
Who are the leaders of Hamas?
Euro News reports that at least seven people founded Hamas.
Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, who met a similar fate as Yasin just a month later, and Khaleed Meshaal were also founders of this movement.
Yehia Sinwar, based in Gaza, and Ismail Haniyeh, living in exile, are the current leaders of Hamas.