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HAMAS (Arabic : حماس‎‎ _Ḥamās_, an acronym of حركة المقاومة الاسلامية _Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah_ Islamic Resistance Movement) is a Palestinian Sunni -Islamic fundamentalist organization. It has a social service wing, Dawah
Dawah
, and a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades . It has been the _de facto_ governing authority of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
since its takeover of that area in 2007. During this period it fought several wars with Israel
Israel
. It is regarded, either in whole or in part, as a terrorist organization by several countries and international organizations , most notably by Israel
Israel
, the United States and the European Union
European Union
.

Hamas
Hamas
was founded in 1987, soon after the First Intifada
First Intifada
broke out, as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood , which in its Gaza branch had been non-confrontational towards Israel, refrained from resistance, and was hostile to the PLO. Co-founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin stated in 1987, and the Hamas Charter affirmed in 1988, that Hamas
Hamas
was founded to liberate Palestine , including modern-day Israel, from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank
West Bank
and the Gaza Strip. The group has stated that it may accept a 10-year truce if Israel
Israel
withdraws to the 1967 borders and allows Palestinian refugees from 1948 , including their descendants, to return to what is now Israel, although clarifying that this does not mean recognition of Israel
Israel
or the end of the conflict. Hamas's military wing objected to the truce offer. Analysts have said that it seems clear that Hamas
Hamas
knows that many of its conditions for the truce could never be met.

The military wing of Hamas
Hamas
has launched attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers, often describing them as retaliatory, in particular for assassinations of the upper echelon of their leadership. Tactics have included suicide bombings and, since 2001, rocket attacks . Hamas's rocket arsenal, though mainly consisting of short-range homemade Qassam rockets , also includes long-range weapons that have reached major Israeli cities including Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
and Haifa
Haifa
. The attacks on civilians have been condemned as war crimes and crimes against humanity by human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch . A 2017 Palestinian Center for Public Opinion poll in the Palestinian territories revealed that Hamas
Hamas
violence and rhetoric against Israelis
Israelis
are unpopular and that a majority of Palestinians would rather Hamas
Hamas
"accept a permanent two-state solution based on the 1967 borders."

In the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, Hamas
Hamas
won a plurality in the Palestinian Parliament, defeating the PLO -affiliated Fatah
Fatah
party. Following the elections, the Quartet (the United States, Russia, United Nations, and European Union) made future foreign assistance to the PA conditional upon the future government's commitment to non-violence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements. Hamas
Hamas
rejected those changes, which led to the Quartet suspending its foreign assistance program and Israel
Israel
imposing economic sanctions on the Hamas-led administration. In March 2007, a national unity government headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas
Hamas
was briefly formed, but this failed to restart international financial assistance. Tensions over control of Palestinian security forces soon erupted in the 2007 Battle of Gaza , after which Hamas
Hamas
took control of Gaza, while its officials were ousted from government positions in the West Bank. Israel
Israel
and Egypt then imposed an economic blockade of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
, on the grounds that Fatah
Fatah
forces were no longer providing security there. In 2011, Hamas
Hamas
and Fatah
Fatah
announced a reconciliation agreement that provides for creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government. Progress stalled, until an April 2014 agreement to form a compromise unity government, with elections to be held in late 2014.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 Aims

* 3 Leadership and structure

* 3.1 Consultative councils * 3.2 Social Services Wing * 3.3 Military wing

* 4 Finances and funding

* 5 History

* 5.1 Gaza Islamic roots and establishment of Hamas
Hamas
* 5.2 Hamas Charter (1988) * 5.3 1990s * 5.4 Second Intifada * 5.5 2006 presidential and legislative elections * 5.6 Legislative policy and reforming the judiciary * 5.7 Public freedoms and citizen rights * 5.8 Hamas– Fatah
Fatah
conflict * 5.9 2008–2009 Gaza War * 5.10 After the Gaza War * 5.11 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict

* 6 Media

* 6.1 Children\'s magazine * 6.2 Al-Aqsa TV

* 7 Islamization efforts

* 7.1 In the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
* 7.2 In the West Bank
West Bank
* 7.3 Tayyip Erdoğan\'s Turkey
Turkey
as a role model

* 8 Antisemitism and anti-Zionism

* 8.1 Hamas Charter (1988) * 8.2 Statements by Hamas
Hamas
members and clerics to an Arab audience * 8.3 Statements by Hamas
Hamas
members and clerics to an international audience * 8.4 Statements on the Holocaust
Holocaust

* 9 Violence and terrorism

* 9.1 Attacks on civilians * 9.2 Rocket attacks on Israel
Israel
* 9.3 Attempts to derail 2010 peace talks * 9.4 Themes of martyrdom * 9.5 Guerrilla warfare * 9.6 Extrajudicial killings of rivals * 9.7 2011–2013 Sinai insurgency * 9.8 International designations as a terrorist organization

* 10 Criticism

* 10.1 Human shields * 10.2 Children as combatants * 10.3 Political freedoms * 10.4 Human rights
Human rights
abuses

* 11 International support

* 11.1 Qatar
Qatar
and Turkey
Turkey
* 11.2 U.S.-based support

* 12 See also

* 13 References

* 13.1 Bibliography

* 14 External links

ETYMOLOGY

_Hamas_ is an acronym of the Arabic phrase حركة المقاومة الاسلامية or _Harakat al-Muqāwama al-Islāmiyya_, meaning "Islamic Resistance Movement". The Arabic word 'hamas' (حماس) means "courage" or "zeal". The Hamas
Hamas
covenant interprets its name to mean "strength and bravery".

AIMS

Hamas, as its name (Islamic Resistance Movement) implies, aims to liberate Palestine from the Israeli occupation by resisting it. And according to Hamas
Hamas
armed branch Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades :

“ To contribute in the effort of liberating Palestine and restoring the rights of the Palestinian people under the sacred Islamic teachings of the Holy Quran , the Sunnah (traditions) of Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him ) and the traditions of Muslims rulers and scholars noted for their piety and dedication. ”

Al-Qassam Brigades aims to liberate all of Palestine from what they describe as Zionist
Zionist
occupation, and to achieve the rights of the Palestinian people that were robbed by the occupation, and it consider itself part of the movement of a project of national liberation.

LEADERSHIP AND STRUCTURE

Map of key Hamas
Hamas
leadership nodes. 2010 Longtime leader, Khaled Meshaal

Hamas
Hamas
inherited from its predecessor a tripartite structure that consisted in the provision of social services, of religious training and military operations under a Shura Council. Traditionally it had four distinct functions: (a) a charitable social welfare division (_dawah_); (b) a military division for procuring weapons and undertaking operations (_al- Mujahideen
Mujahideen
al Filastinun_); (c) a security service (_Jehaz Aman_); and (d) a media branch (_A’alam_). Hamas has both an internal leadership within the West Bank
West Bank
and the Gaza Strip, and an external leadership, split between a Gaza group directed by Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook from his exile first in Damascus
Damascus
and then in Egypt, and a Kuwaiti group (_Kuwaidia_) under Khaled Mashal . The Kuwaiti group of Palestinian exiles began to receive extensive funding from the Gulf States after its leader Mashal broke with Yasser Arafat 's decision to side with Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
in the Invasion of Kuwait , with Mashal insisting that Iraq withdraw. On 6 May 2017, Hamas\' Shura Council chose Ismail Haniya to become the new leader, to replace Mashal.

The exact nature of the organization is unclear, secrecy being maintained for fear of Israeli assassinations and to conceal operational activities. Formally, Hamas
Hamas
maintains the wings are separate and independent. Matthew Levitt maintains this is a public myth. Davis argues that they are both separate and combined for reasons of internal and external political necessity. Communication between the political and military wings of Hamas
Hamas
is difficult, owing to the thoroughness of Israeli intelligence surveillance and the existence of an extensive base of informants. After the assassination of Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi the occasional political direction of the militant wing diminished, with field commanders given discretional autonomy on operations.

CONSULTATIVE COUNCILS

The governing body is the Majlis al-Shura . The principle behind the Council is based on the Qur\'anic concept of consultation and popular assembly (_shura _), which Hamas
Hamas
leaders argue provides for democracy within an Islamic framework. As the organization grew more complex and Israeli pressure increased it needed a broader base for decisions, the Shura Council was renamed the 'General Consultative Council', elected from members of local council groups and this in turn elected a 15-member Politburo
Politburo
(_al-Maktab al-Siyasi_) that made decisions at the highest level. Representatives come from Gaza, the West Bank, leaders in exile and Israeli prisons . This organ was located in Damascus
Damascus
until the Syrian Civil War
Syrian Civil War
led it to transfer to Qatar
Qatar
in January 2012, when Hamas
Hamas
sided with the civil opposition against the regime of Bashar al-Assad .

SOCIAL SERVICES WING

Hamas
Hamas
developed its social welfare programme by replicating the model established by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.For them, charity and the development of one's community are prescribed by religion, and, at the same time, are to be understood as forms of resistance. In Islamic tradition _dawah_ (lit.'the call to God') obliges the faithful to reach out to others by both proselytising and by charitable works, and typically the latter centre on the mosques which make use of both waqf endowment resources and charitable donations (zakat ) to fund grassroots services like nurseries, schools, orphanages, soup kitchens, women's activities, library services and even sporting clubs within a larger context of preaching and political discussions. In the 1990s, some 85% of its budget was allocated to the provision of social services. It has been called perhaps the most significant social services actor in Palestine. By 2000 it or its affiliated charities ran roughly 40% of the social institutions in the West Bank and Gaza and, with other Islamic charities, by 2005 was supporting 120,000 individuals with monthly financial support in Gaza. Part of the appeal of these institutions is that they fill a vacuum in the administration by the PLO of the Palestinian territories, which had failed to cater to the demand for jobs and broad social services, and is widely viewed as corrupt. As late as 2005, the budget of Hamas, drawing on global charity contributions, was mostly tied up in covering running expenses for its social programmes, which extended from the supply of housing, food and water for the needy to more general functions like financial aid, medical assistance, educational development and religious instruction. A certain accounting flexibility allowed these funds to cover both charitable causes and military operations, permitting transfer from one to the other.

The _dawah_ infrastructure itself was understood, within the Palestinian context, as providing the soil from which a militant opposition to the occupation would flower. In this regard it differs from the rival Palestinian Islamic Jihad
Jihad
which lacks any social welfare network, and relies on spectacular terrorist attacks to recruit adherents. In 2007, through funding from Iran, Hamas
Hamas
managed to allocate at a cost of $60 million, monthly stipends of $100 for 100,000 workers, and a similar sum for 3,000 fishermen laid idle by Israel\'s imposition of restrictions on fishing offshore, plus grants totalling $45 million to detainees and their families. Matthew Levitt argues that Hamas
Hamas
grants to people are subject to a rigorous cost-benefit analysis of how beneficiaries will support Hamas, with those linked to terrorist activities receiving more than others. Israel
Israel
holds the families of suicide bombers accountable and bulldozes their homes, whereas the families of Hamas
Hamas
activists who have been killed or wounded during militant operations are given an initial, one-time grant varying between $500–$5,000, together with a $100 monthly allowance. Rent assistance is also given to families whose homes have been destroyed by Israeli bombing though families unaffiliated with Hamas
Hamas
are said to receive less.

Until 2007, these activities extended to the West Bank, but, after a PLO crackdown, now continue exclusively in the Gaza Strip. After the 2013 Egyptian coup d\'état deposed the elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi
Mohamed Morsi
in 2013, Hamas
Hamas
found itself in a financial straightjacket and has since endeavoured to throw the burden of responsibility for public works infrastructure in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
back onto the Palestinian National Authority, but without success.

MILITARY WING

Main article: Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing was formed in either mid-1991 or 1992, under the direction of Yahya Ayyash , a Hamas
Hamas
field-commander and bomb-maker assassinated by Israel
Israel
in 1996. It was constituted from units associated with the earlier _al- Jihad
Jihad
wa Da’wa_, an umbrella group that had gathered in militants from various Islamic resistance cells like the _Al-Mujahidun al-Filastiniun_ (Palestinian fighters). established by Salah Shehade in 1986.

The wing takes its name from the prewar militant Palestinian nationalist Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam , though Hamas
Hamas
cells sometimes refer to themselves as "Students of Ayyash", "Students of the Engineer", or " Yahya Ayyash Units". At the outset, weapons were hard to come by, and the organization began to resort to intermittent kidnappings of soldiers to secure arms and munitions. This approach had been justified two years earlier when, in the wake of the killing of some 20 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces dispersing protestors at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1990, Hamas
Hamas
had declared every Israeli soldier a legitimate target. Weapons found in a mosque during Operation Cast Lead, according to the IDF

Ayyash, with a degree in electrical engineering, quickly improved Hamas's strike capacity by developing IEDs and promoting the tactic of suicide bombings. By the time of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Hamas's laboratories had devised a primitive form of rocketry, the Qassam 1, which they first launched in October 2000, carrying a 500 gram warhead with a throw range of 4 kilometres. Both propellant and the explosive were manufactured from chemical fertilizers, though TNT was also tried. Over the next five years of the conflict, a 3-kilogram-warhead-armed version with a strike range of 6–8 kilometres, the Qassam 2, was also produced and in an incremental rise, these rocket types were fired towards Israeli settlements along the Gaza Strip: 4 in 2001, 35 in 2002, 155 in 2003, 281 in 2004, and 179 in 2005. By 2005, the Qassam 3 had been engineered with a 12–14 kilometre range and a 15 kilo warhead. By 2006, 942 such rockets were launched into southern Israel. During the War with Israel
Israel
in 2008–2009 , Hamas
Hamas
deployed 122-mm Grad rocketry with a 20–40 kilometre range and a 30 kilogram warhead and a variety of guided Kornet antitank missiles. By 2012 Hamas
Hamas
had engineered a version of the Fajr-5
Fajr-5
rocket, which was capable of reaching as far as Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
, as was shown after the assassination of Ahmed Jabari in that year. In the 2014 war its advanced rocketry reached Jerusalem, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
and Haifa
Haifa
. Hamas
Hamas
deployed its increasingly sophisticated rocketry to replace its martyrdom operations.

While the number of members is known only to the Brigades leadership, Israel
Israel
estimates the Brigades have a core of several hundred members who receive military style training , including training in Iran and in Syria
Syria
(before the Syrian Civil War). Additionally, the brigades have an estimated 10,000-17,000 operatives, forming a backup force whenever circumstances call for reinforcements for the Brigade. Recruitment training lasts for two years.

The group's ideology outlines its aim as the liberation of Palestine and the restoration of Palestinian rights under the dispensations set forth in the Qur'an, and this translates into three policy priorities:

To evoke the spirit of Jihad
Jihad
(Resistance) among Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims; to defend Palestinians and their land against the Zionist occupation and its manifestations; to liberate Palestinians and their land that was usurped by the Zionist
Zionist
occupation forces and settlers.

According to its official stipulations, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades' military operations are to be restricted to operating only inside Palestine, engaging with Israeli soldiers, and in exercising the right of self-defense against armed settlers. They are to avoid civilian targets, to respect the enemy's humanity by refraining from mutilation, defacement or excessive killing, and to avoid targeting Westerners either in the occupied zones or beyond.

In practice, Hamas
Hamas
altered its approach restricting actions to 'legitimate military targets' by extended them to Israeli civilians after 7 years. Though between 1996 and 2001 it generally refrained from targeting Israeli civilians, it adopted sporadic suicide bombings in the wake of the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre , when an Israeli settler in military fatigues, Baruch Goldstein , shot dead 29 Muslims at prayer in 1993. After the Al Aqsa revolt, the Brigades were behind most of the suicide bombings in Israel, a measure it defended as a form of "reciprocity".

Down to 2007, the Brigades are estimated to have lost some 800 operatives in conflicts with Israeli forces. The leadership has been consistently undermined by targeted assassinations. Aside from Yahya Ayyash (5 January 1996), it has lost Emad Akel (24 November 1993) Salah Shehade , (23 July 2002), Ibrahim al-Makadmeh , (8 March 2003) Ismail Abu Shanab , (21 August 2003) Ahmed Yassin (March 22, 2004) and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi ,( April 17, 2004).,

After Israel
Israel
arrested hundreds of its members in May 1989, Hamas regionalized its command system to make its operative structure more diffuse, and minimalize the chances of being detected. The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades groups its fighters in 4-5 man cells, which in turn are integrated into companies and battalions. Unlike the political section, which is split between an internal and external structure, the Brigades are under a local Palestinian leadership, and disobedience with the decisions taken by the political leadership have been relatively rare.

Although the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades are an integral part of Hamas, the exact nature of the relationship is hotly debated. They appear to operate at times independently of Hamas, exercising a certain autonomy. Some cells have independent links with the external leadership, enabling them to bypass the hierarchical command chain and political leadership in Gaza. Ilana Kass and Bard O'Neill, likening Hamas's relationship with the Brigades to the political party Sinn Féin 's relationship to the military arm of the Irish Republican Army . quote a senior Hamas
Hamas
official as stating: "The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade is a separate armed military wing, which has its own leaders who do not take their orders from Hamas
Hamas
and do not tell us of their plans in advance." Matthew Levitt on the other hand argues vocally for the idea that Hamas's welfare institutions act as a mere façade or front for the financing of terrorism, and dismisses the idea of two wings as a 'myth'. He cites Sheikh Ahmad Yassin stating in 1998: "We can not separate the wing from the body. If we do so, the body will not be able to fly. Hamas
Hamas
is one body."

FINANCES AND FUNDING

At the 1993 Philadelphia conference, Hamas
Hamas
leaders' statements indicated that they read George H. W. Bush 's outline of a New World Order as embodying a tacit aim to destroy Islam, and that therefore funding should focus on enhancing the Islamic roots of Palestinian society and promoting jihad in the occupying territories.

Hamas's budget, calculated to be roughly US$70 million (2011), is derived in large part (85%) from foreign, rather than internal Palestinian, sources. Only two Israeli-Palestinian sources figure in a list seized in 2004, while the other contributors were donor bodies located in Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Britain, Germany, the United States, United Arab Emirates, Italy and France. Much of the money raised comes from sources that direct their assistance to what Hamas
Hamas
describes as its charitable work for Palestinians, but investments in support of its ideological position are also relevant, with Persian Gulf States and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
prominent in the latter. Matthew Levitt states that Hamas
Hamas
also taps money from corporations, criminal organizations and financial networks that support terror, and is believed to engage in cigarette and drug smuggling, multimedia copyright infringement and credit card fraud. Vittori states that, more than other similar organizations, it is particularly careful about keeping resources for its militant, political and public works activities separate. The United States, Israel
Israel
and the EU have shut down many charities and organs that channel money to Hamas, such as the Holy Land Foundation for Relief. Between 1992 and 2001 this group is said to have provided $6.8 million to Palestinian charities of the $57 million collected. By 2001 it was alleged to have given Hamas
Hamas
$13 million, and was shut down shortly afterwards.

About half of Hamas's funding came from states in the Persian Gulf down to the mid 2000s. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
supplied half of the Hamas
Hamas
budget of $50 million in the early 2000s, but, under U.S. pressure, began cut its funding by cracking down on Islamic charities and private donor transfers to Hamas
Hamas
in 2004, which by 2006 drastically reduced the flow of money from that area. Iran and Syria, in the aftermath of Hamas's 2006 electoral victory, stepped in to fill the shortfall. Saudi funding, negotiated with third parties like Egypt, remained supportive of Hamas
Hamas
as a Sunni
Sunni
group but chose to provide more assistance to the PNA, the electoral loser, when the EU responded to the outcome by suspending its monetary aid. Iran in the 1980s began by providing 10% of Hamas's funding, which it increased annually until by the 1990s it supplied $30 million. It accounted for $22 million, over a quarter of Hamas's budget, by the late 2000s. According to Matthew Levitt, Iran preferred direct financing to operative groups rather than charities, requiring video proof of attacks. Much of the Iran funding is said to be channeled through Hezbollah
Hezbollah
. After 2006 Iran's willingness to take over the burden of the shortfall created by the drying up of Saudi funding also reflected the geopolitical tensions between the two, since, though Shiite, Iran was supporting a Sunni
Sunni
group traditionally closely linked with the Saudi kingdom. The US imposed sanctions on Iran's Bank Saderat, alleging it had funneled hundreds of millions to Hamas. The US has expressed concerns that for Hamas
Hamas
obtains funds through Palestinian and Lebanese sympathizers of Arab descent in the Foz do Iguaçu area of the tri-border region of Latin America
Latin America
, an area long associated with arms trading, drug trafficking, contraband, the manufacture of counterfeit goods, money-laundering and currency fraud. The State Department add that confirmatory information of a Hamas
Hamas
operational presence there is lacking.

After 2009, sanctions on Iran made funding difficult, forcing Hamas to rely on religious donations by individuals in the West Bank, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Funds amounting to tens of millions of dollars raised in the Gulf states were transferred through the Rafah
Rafah
Border Crossing . These were not sufficient to cover the costs of governing the Strip and running the al Qassam Brigades, and when tensions arose with Iran over support of President Assad in Syria, Iran dropped its financial assistance to the government, restricting its funding to the military wing, which meant a drop from $150 million in 2012 to $60 million the following year. A further drop occurred in 2015 when Hamas expressed its criticisms of Iran's role in the Yemeni Civil War .

HISTORY

Main article: History of Hamas See also: First Intifada
First Intifada

GAZA ISLAMIC ROOTS AND ESTABLISHMENT OF HAMAS

Hamas
Hamas
rose as an offshoot of the Gaza Mujama al-Islamiya branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood , which had been actively encouraged by Israel
Israel
to expand as a counterweight to the influence of the secular Palestine Liberation Organization . and had since 1973 been quiescent and non-confrontational towards Israel. Aside from developing Islamic charities to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, it emphasized social justice (_adala_) and the subordination of the world to the sovereignty of God (_hakmiyya_). Hamas
Hamas
was founded in 1987, soon after the outbreak of the First Intifada , the first popular uprising against the Israeli occupation. Creating Hamas
Hamas
to participate in the revolt was regarded as a survival measure to enable the Brotherhood itself, which refused to fight against Israel, to hold its own against other competing Palestinian nationalist groups. By forming a military wing distinct from its social charity organizations, it was hoped that the latter would be insulated from being targeted by Israel. Co-founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin was convinced that Israel
Israel
was endeavouring to destroy Islam, and concluded that loyal Muslims had a religious obligation into destroy Israel. The short term goal of Hamas
Hamas
was to liberate Palestine , including modern-day Israel, from Israeli occupation . The long-term aim sought to establish an Islamic state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

HAMAS CHARTER (1988)

Main article: Hamas Covenant

The foundational document, the Hamas Charter (_mīthāq ḥarakat_), is dated 18 August 1988, and contains bothantisemitic passages, characterizations of Israeli society as Nazi-like in its cruelty, and irredentist claims that have never been revoked despite what some observers say are later policy changes in the organization regarding Israel, and the Jews, It declares all of Palestine waqf property endowed by God to Muslims, with religious coexistence under Islam's wing. The charter rejects a two-state solution , envisaging no peaceful settlement of the conflict apart from jihad . It states that the movement's aim is to

raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam
Islam
followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned' (Article 6)

and adds that, 'when our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, jihad becomes a duty binding on all Muslims, for which the whole of the land is non-negotiable, a position likened, without the racist sentiments present in the Hamas
Hamas
charter, to that in the Likud party platform and in movements like Gush Emunim . For Hamas, to concede territory is seen as equivalent to renouncing Islam
Islam
itself.

Decades down the line, Hamas's official position changed with regard to a two-state solution. Khaled Mashaal , its leader, has publicly affirmed the movement's readiness to accept such a division. When Hamas
Hamas
won a majority in the 2006 Palestinian legislative election , Haniyeh, then president-elect, sent messages to both George Bush and Israel's leaders asking to be recognized and offering a long-term truce (hudna ), along the 1967 border lines. No response was forthcoming.

Mousa Marzook said in 2007 that the charter could not be altered because it would look like a compromise not acceptable to the 'street' and risk fracturing the party's unity. Hamas
Hamas
leader Khaled Meshaal has stated that the Charter is "a piece of history and no longer relevant, but cannot be changed for internal reasons". Ahmed Yousef , senior adviser to Ismail Haniyeh , added in 2011 that it reflected the views of the Elders in the face of a 'relentless occupation.' The details of its religious and political language had not been examined within the framework of international law, and an internal committee review to amend it was shelved out of concern not to offer concessions to Israel, as had Fatah, on a silver platter. While Hamas representatives recognize the problem, one official notes that Arafat got very little in return for changing the PLO Charter under the Oslo Accords, and that there is agreement that little is gained from a non-violent approach. Richard Davis says the dismissal by contemporary leaders of its relevance and yet the suspension of a desire to rewrite it reflects the differing constituencies Hamas
Hamas
must address, the domestic audience and international relations. The charter itself is considered an 'historical relic.'

In March 2006, Hamas
Hamas
released its official legislative program. The document clearly signaled that Hamas
Hamas
could refer the issue of recognizing Israel
Israel
to a national referendum. Under the heading "Recognition of Israel," it stated simply (AFP, 3/11/06): "The question of recognizing Israel
Israel
is not the jurisdiction of one faction, nor the government, but a decision for the Palestinian people." This was a major shift away from their 1988 charter. A few months later, via University of Maryland 's Jerome Segal, the group sent a letter to U.S. President George W. Bush stating they "don't mind having a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders", and asked for direct negotiations: "Segal emphasized that a state within the 1967 borders and a truce for many years could be considered Hamas's _de facto_ recognition of Israel."

In an April 2008 meeting between Hamas
Hamas
leader Khaled Mashal and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
, an understanding was reached in which Hamas
Hamas
agreed it would respect the creation of a Palestinian state in the territory seized by Israel
Israel
in the 1967 Six-Day War , provided this were ratified by the Palestinian people in a referendum. Hamas
Hamas
later publicly offered a long-term truce with Israel
Israel
if Israel agreed to return to its 1967 borders and grant the "right of return" to all Palestinian refugees . In November 2008, Hamas
Hamas
leader Ismail Haniyeh re-stated that Hamas
Hamas
was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, and offered Israel
Israel
a long-term truce "if Israel
Israel
recognized the Palestinians' national rights". In 2009, in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon , Haniyeh repeated his group's support for a two-state settlement based on 1967 borders: "We would never thwart efforts to create an independent Palestinian state with borders June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem
Jerusalem
as its capital." On December 1, 2010, Ismail Haniyeh again repeated, "We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem
Jerusalem
as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees," and " Hamas
Hamas
will respect the results regardless of whether it differs with its ideology and principles."

In February 2012, according to the Palestinian authority, Hamas forswore the use of violence. Evidence for this was provided by an eruption of violence from Islamic Jihad
Jihad
in March 2012 after an Israeli assassination of a Jihad
Jihad
leader, during which Hamas
Hamas
refrained from attacking Israel. "Israel—despite its mantra that because Hamas
Hamas
is sovereign in Gaza it is responsible for what goes on there—almost seems to understand," wrote Israeli journalists Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, "and has not bombed Hamas
Hamas
offices or installations".

Israel
Israel
has rejected some truce offers by Hamas
Hamas
because it contends the group uses them to prepare for more fighting rather than peace. _ The Atlantic
The Atlantic
_ magazine columnist Jeffrey Goldberg , along with other analysts, believes Hamas
Hamas
may be incapable of permanent reconciliation with Israel. Mkhaimer Abusada , a political scientist at Al Azhar University , writes that Hamas
Hamas
talks "of hudna , not of peace or reconciliation with Israel. They believe over time they will be strong enough to liberate all historic Palestine."

1990S

Hamas
Hamas
carried out its first attack against Israel
Israel
in 1989, abducting and killing two soldiers. The Israel
Israel
Defense Forces immediately arrested Yassin and sentenced him to life in prison, and deported 400 Hamas
Hamas
activists, including Zahar, to South Lebanon
South Lebanon
, which at the time was occupied by Israel. During this time Hamas
Hamas
built a relationship with Hezbollah
Hezbollah
. Hamas's military branch, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was created in 1991. During the 1990s the al-Qassam Brigades conducted numerous attacks on Israel, with both civilian and military victims. In April 1993, suicide bombings in the West Bank began. After the February 1994 massacre by Baruch Goldstein of 30 Muslim civilians in a Hebron mosque, the al-Qassam Brigades began suicide attacks inside Israel.

In December 1992 Israel
Israel
responded to the killing of a border police officer by deporting 415 leading figures of Hamas
Hamas
and Islamic Jihad
Jihad
to Lebanon, which provoked international condemnation and a unanimous UN Security Council resolution condemning the action. Although the suicide attacks by the al-Qassam Brigades and other groups violated the 1993 Oslo accords (which Hamas
Hamas
opposed ), Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
was reluctant to pursue the attackers and may have had inadequate means to do so. Some analysts state that the Palestinian Authority could have stopped the suicide and other attacks on civilians but refused to do so. According to the Congressional Research Service , Hamas
Hamas
admitted to having executed Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israeli authorities in the 1990s. A transcript of a training film by the al-Qassam Brigades tells how Hamas
Hamas
operatives kidnapped Palestinians accused of collaboration and then forced confessions before executing them. In 1996, Yahya Ayash , the chief bombmaker of Hamas
Hamas
and the leader of the West Bank
West Bank
battalion of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was assassinated by the Israeli secret service .

In September 1997, Israeli agents in Jordan
Jordan
attempted but failed to assassinate Hamas
Hamas
leader Khaled Mashal , leading to chilled relations between the two countries and release of Sheikh Yassin, Hamas's spiritual leader, from Israeli prison. Two years later Hamas
Hamas
was banned in Jordan
Jordan
, reportedly in part at the request of the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority . Jordan's King Abdullah feared the activities of Hamas
Hamas
and its Jordanian allies would jeopardize peace negotiations with Israel, and accused Hamas
Hamas
of engaging in illegitimate activities within Jordan. In mid-September 1999, authorities arrested Hamas
Hamas
leaders Khaled Mashal and Ibrahim Ghosheh on their return from a visit to Iran, and charged them with being members of an illegal organization, storing weapons, conducting military exercises, and using Jordan
Jordan
as a training base. Hamas leaders denied the charges. Mashal was exiled and eventually settled in Syria. He fled to Qatar
Qatar
in 2012 as a result of the Syrian civil war .

SECOND INTIFADA

The aftermath of a bus bombing in Haifa
Haifa
in 2003.

Al-Qassam Brigades militants were among the armed groups that launched both military-style attacks and suicide bombings against Israeli civilian and military targets during the Second Intifada (also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada (Arabic : انتفاضة الأقصى‎‎, _Intifāḍat El Aqṣa_; Hebrew : אינתיפאדת אל-אקצה‎‎, _Intifādat El-Aqtzah_), which began in late September 2000. This Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule in the occupied territories was much more violent than the First Intifada
First Intifada
. The military and civilian death toll is estimated at 5500 Palestinians and more than 1100 Israelis, as well as 64 foreigners. A 2007 study of Palestinian suicide bombings during the second intifada (September 2000 through August 2005) found that about 40 percent were carried out by the al-Qassam Brigades.

The immediate trigger for the uprising is disputed, but a more general cause, writes U.S. political science professor Jeremy Pressman, was "popular Palestinian discontent grew during the Oslo peace process because the reality on the ground did not match the expectations created by the peace agreements". Hamas
Hamas
would be the beneficiary of this growing discontent in the 2006 Palestinian Authority legislative elections.

In January 2004, Hamas
Hamas
leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin said that the group would end armed resistance against Israel
Israel
in exchange for a Palestinian state in the West Bank
West Bank
, Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
, and east Jerusalem
Jerusalem
, and that restoring Palestinians' "historical rights" (relating to the 1948 Palestinian exodus ) "would be left for future generations". On January 25, 2004, senior Hamas
Hamas
official Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi offered a 10-year truce, or _hudna _, in return for the establishment of a Palestinian state and the complete withdrawal by Israel
Israel
from the territories captured in the 1967 Six Day War
Six Day War
. Al-Rantissi stated that Hamas
Hamas
had come to the conclusion that it was "difficult to liberate all our land at this stage, so we accept a phased liberation". Israel
Israel
immediately dismissed al-Rantissi's statements as insincere and a smokescreen for military preparations. Yassin was assassinated on March 22, 2004, by a targeted Israeli air strike , and al-Rantisi was assassinated by a similar air strike on April 18, 2004.

2006 PRESIDENTIAL AND LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS

While Hamas
Hamas
boycotted the 2005 Palestinian presidential election , it did participate in the 2005 municipal elections organized by Yasser Arafat in the occupied territories. In those elections it won control of over one third of Palestinian municipal councils, besting Fatah
Fatah
, which had for long been the biggest force in Palestinian politics. In its election manifesto for the 2006 Palestinian legislative election , Hamas
Hamas
omitted a call for an end to Israel, though it did still call for armed struggle against the occupation. Hamas
Hamas
won the 2006 elections, winning 76 of the 132 seats to Fatah's 43. Seen by many as primarily a rejection of the Fatah
Fatah
government's corruption and ineffectiveness, the Hamas
Hamas
victory seemingly had brought to an end 40 years of PLO domination of Palestinian politics.

In early February 2006, Hamas
Hamas
offered Israel
Israel
a 10-year truce "in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories: the West Bank, Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and East Jerusalem," and recognition of Palestinian rights including the "right of return". Mashal added that Hamas
Hamas
was not calling for a final end to armed operations against Israel, and it would not impede other Palestinian groups from carrying out such operations. After the election, the Quartet on the Middle East (the United States, Russia, the European Union (EU), and the United Nations) stated that assistance to the Palestinian Authority would only continue if Hamas
Hamas
renounced violence, recognized Israel, and accepted previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements, which Hamas
Hamas
refused to do. The Quartet then imposed a freeze on all international aid to the Palestinian territories. In 2006 after the Gaza election, Hamas
Hamas
leader sent a letter addressed to George W. Bush where he among other things declared that Hamas
Hamas
would accept a state on the 1967 borders including a truce. However, the Bush administration did not reply.

LEGISLATIVE POLICY AND REFORMING THE JUDICIARY

"Stress the separation between the three powers, the legislative, executive and judicial; activate the role of the Constitutional Court; re-form the Judicial Supreme Council and choose its members by elections and on the basis of qualifications rather than partisan, personal, and social considerations ... ; enact the necessary laws that guarantee the neutrality of general prosecutor ... laws that will stop any transgression by the executive power on the constitution".

PUBLIC FREEDOMS AND CITIZEN RIGHTS

"Achieve equality before the law among citizens in rights and duties; bring security to all citizens and protect their properties and assure their safety against arbitrary arrest, torture, or revenge; stress the culture of dialogue ... ; support the press and media institutions and maintain the right of journalists to access and to publish information; maintain freedom and independence of professional syndicates and preserve the rights of their membership".

HAMAS–FATAH CONFLICT

Main articles: Fatah–Hamas conflict and Battle of Gaza (2007) Hamas
Hamas
rally in Bethlehem
Bethlehem

After the formation of the Hamas-led cabinet on March 20, 2006, tensions between Fatah
Fatah
and Hamas
Hamas
militants progressively rose in the Gaza strip as Fatah
Fatah
commanders refused to take orders from the government while the Palestinian Authority initiated a campaign of demonstrations, assassinations and abductions against Hamas, which led to Hamas
Hamas
responding. Israeli intelligence warned Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
that Hamas
Hamas
had planned to kill him at his office in Gaza. According to a Palestinian source close to Abbas, Hamas
Hamas
considers president Abbas to be a barrier to its complete control over the Palestinian Authority and decided to kill him. In a statement to Al Jazeera, Hamas
Hamas
leader Mohammed Nazzal, accused Abbas of being party to besieging and isolating the Hamas-led government.

On June 9, 2006, during an Israeli artillery operation, an explosion occurred on a busy Gaza beach, killing eight Palestinian civilians. It was assumed that Israeli shellings were responsible for the killings, but Israeli government officials denied this. Hamas formally withdrew from its 16-month ceasefire on June 10, taking responsibility for the subsequent Qassam rocket attacks launched from Gaza into Israel.

On June 25, two Israeli soldiers were killed and another, Gilad Shalit , captured following an incursion by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades , Popular Resistance Committees and Army of Islam
Islam
. In response, the Israeli military launched Operation Summer Rains three days later, to secure the release of the kidnapped soldier, arresting 64 Hamas
Hamas
officials. Among them were 8 Palestinian Authority cabinet ministers and up to 20 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council , The arrests, along with other events, effectively prevented the Hamas-dominated legislature from functioning during most of its term. Shalit was held captive until 2011, when he was released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. Since then, Hamas
Hamas
has continued building a network of internal and cross-border tunnels, which are used to store and deploy weapons, shield militants, and facilitate cross-border attacks. Destroying the tunnels was a primary objective of Israeli forces in the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict .

On February 2007 Saudi-sponsored negotiations in Mecca produced agreement on a signed by Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
on behalf of Fatah
Fatah
and Khaled Mashal on behalf of Hamas. The new government was called on to achieve Palestinian national goals as approved by the Palestine National Council, the clauses of the Basic Law and the National Reconciliation Document (the "Prisoners' Document") as well as the decisions of the Arab summit.

In March 2007, the Palestinian Legislative Council established a national unity government , with 83 representatives voting in favor and three against. Government ministers were sworn in by Mahmoud Abbas , the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, at a ceremony held simultaneously in Gaza and Ramallah. In June that year, renewed fighting broke out between Hamas
Hamas
and Fatah. In the course of the June 2007 Battle of Gaza , Hamas
Hamas
exploited the near total collapse of Palestinian Authority forces in Gaza, to seize control of Gaza, ousting Fatah
Fatah
officials. President Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
then dismissed the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government. and outlawed the Hamas militia. At least 600 Palestinians died in fighting between Hamas
Hamas
and Fatah. Human Rights Watch, a U.S.-based group, accused both sides in the conflict of torture and war crimes .

Human Rights Watch estimates several hundred Gazans were "maimed" and tortured in the aftermath of the Gaza War. 73 Gazan men accused of "collaborating" had their arms and legs broken by "unidentified perpetrators" and 18 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel, who had escaped from Gaza's main prison compound after Israel bombed the facility, were executed by Hamas
Hamas
security officials in the first days of the conflict. Hamas
Hamas
security forces attacked hundreds Fatah
Fatah
officials who supported Israel. Human Rights Watch interviewed one such person:

There were eight of us sitting there. We were all from Fatah. Then three masked militants broke in. They were dressed in brown camouflage military uniforms; they all had guns. They pointed their guns at us and cursed us, then they began beating us with iron rods, including a 10-year-old boy whom they hit in the face. They said we were "collaborators" and "unfaithful".

They beat me with iron sticks and gun butts for 15 minutes. They were yelling: "You are happy that Israel
Israel
is bombing us!" until people came out of their houses, and they withdrew.

In March 2012 Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
stated that there were no political differences between Hamas
Hamas
and Fatah
Fatah
as they had reached agreement on a joint political platform and on a truce with Israel. Commenting on relations with Hamas, Abbas revealed in an interview with Al Jazeera that "We agreed that the period of calm would be not only in the Gaza Strip, but also in the West Bank," adding that "We also agreed on a peaceful popular resistance , the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders and that the peace talks would continue if Israel
Israel
halted settlement construction and accepted our conditions." Progress has stalled, until an April 2014 agreement to form a compromise unity government, with elections to be held in late 2014.

2008–2009 GAZA WAR

Main articles: Gaza War (2008–09) and United Nations
United Nations
Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict

On June 17, 2008, Egyptian mediators announced that an informal truce had been agreed to between Hamas
Hamas
and Israel. Hamas
Hamas
agreed to cease rocket attacks on Israel, while Israel
Israel
agreed to allow limited commercial shipping across its border with Gaza , barring any breakdown of the tentative peace deal; Hamas
Hamas
also hinted that it would discuss the release of Gilad Shalit . Israeli sources state that Hamas
Hamas
also committed itself to enforce the ceasefire on the other Palestinian organizations. Even before the truce was agreed to, some on the Israeli side were not optimistic about it, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin stating in May 2008 that a ground incursion into Gaza was unavoidable and would more effectively quell arms smuggling and pressure Hamas
Hamas
into relinquishing power.

While Hamas
Hamas
was careful to maintain the ceasefire, the lull was sporadically violated by other groups, sometimes in defiance of Hamas. For example, on June 24 Islamic Jihad
Jihad
launched rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot; Israel
Israel
called the attack a grave violation of the informal truce, and closed its border crossings with Gaza. On November 4, 2008, Israeli forces, in an attempt to stop construction of a tunnel, killed six Hamas
Hamas
gunmen in a raid inside the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
. Hamas
Hamas
responded by resuming rocket attacks, a total of 190 rockets in November according to Israel's military. Destroyed building in Rafah
Rafah
, 12 January 2009

With the six-month truce officially expired on December 19, Hamas launched 50 to more than 70 rockets and mortars into Israel
Israel
over the next three days, though no Israelis
Israelis
were injured. On December 21, Hamas
Hamas
said it was ready to stop the attacks and renew the truce if Israel
Israel
stopped its "aggression" in Gaza and opened up its border crossings.

On December 27 and 28, Israel
Israel
implemented Operation Cast Lead against Hamas. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said "We warned Hamas repeatedly that rejecting the truce would push Israel
Israel
to aggression against Gaza." According to Palestinian officials, over 280 people were killed and 600 were injured in the first two days of airstrikes. Most were Hamas
Hamas
police and security officers, though many civilians also died. According to Israel, militant training camps, rocket-manufacturing facilities and weapons warehouses that had been pre-identified were hit, and later they attacked rocket and mortar squads who fired around 180 rockets and mortars at Israeli communities. Chief of Gaza police force Tawfiq Jabber , head of the General Security Service Salah Abu Shrakh , senior religious authority and security officer Nizar Rayyan , and Interior Minister Said Seyam were among those killed during the fighting. Although Israel
Israel
sent out thousands of cell-phone messages urging residents of Gaza to leave houses where weapons may be stored, in an attempt to minimise civilian casualties, some residents complained there was nowhere to go because many neighborhoods had received the same message. Israeli bombs landed close to civilian structures such as schools, and some alleged that Israel
Israel
was deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians.

Israel
Israel
declared a unilateral ceasefire on January 17, 2009. Hamas responded the following day by announcing a one-week ceasefire to give Israel
Israel
time to withdraw its forces from the Gaza Strip. Israeli, Palestinian, and third-party sources disagreed on the total casualty figures from the Gaza war, and the number of Palestinian casualties who were civilians. In November 2010, a senior Hamas
Hamas
official acknowledged that up to 300 fighters were killed and "In addition to them, between 200 and 300 fighters from the Al-Qassam Brigades and another 150 security forces were martyred." These new numbers reconcile the total with those of the Israeli military, which originally said were 709 "terror operatives" killed.

AFTER THE GAZA WAR

On August 16, 2009, Hamas
Hamas
leader Khaled Mashal stated that the organization is ready to open dialogue with the Obama administration because its policies are much better than those of former U.S. president George W. Bush : "As long as there's a new language, we welcome it, but we want to see not only a change of language, but also a change of policies on the ground. We have said that we are prepared to cooperate with the US or any other international party that would enable the Palestinians to get rid of occupation." Despite this, an August 30, 2009 speech during a visit to Jordan
Jordan
in which Mashal expressed support for the Palestinian right of return was interpreted by David Pollock of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as a sign that " Hamas
Hamas
has now clearly opted out of diplomacy." In an interview on May 2010, Mashal said that if a Palestinian state with real sovereignty was established under the conditions he set out, on the borders of 1967 with its capital Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and with the right of return, that will be the end of the Palestinian resistance, and then the nature of any subsequent ties with Israel
Israel
would be decided democratically by the Palestinians. In July 2009, Khaled Mashal, Hamas's political bureau chief, stated Hamas's willingness to cooperate with a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, which included a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders , provided that Palestinian refugees be given the right to return to Israel
Israel
and that East Jerusalem be recognized as the new state's capital.

In 2011, after the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, Hamas
Hamas
distanced itself from the Syrian regime and its members began leaving Syria. Where once there were "hundreds of exiled Palestinian officials and their relatives", that number shrunk to "a few dozen". In 2012, Hamas publicly announced its support for the Syrian opposition . This prompted Syrian state TV to issue a "withering attack" on the Hamas leadership. Khaled Mashal said that Hamas
Hamas
had been "forced out" of Damascus
Damascus
because of its disagreements with the Syrian regime. In late October, Syrian Army
Syrian Army
soldiers shot dead two Hamas
Hamas
leaders in Daraa refugee camp. On November 5, 2012, the Syrian state security forces shut down all Hamas
Hamas
offices in the country. In January 2013, another two Hamas
Hamas
members were found dead in Syria's Husseinieh camp. Activists said the two had been arrested and executed by state security forces. In 2013, it was reported that the military wing of Hamas
Hamas
had begun training units of the Free Syrian Army
Syrian Army
. In 2013, after "several intense weeks of indirect three-way diplomacy between representatives of Hamas, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority", no agreement was reached. Also, intra-Palestinian reconciliation talks stalled and, as a result, during Obama's visit to Israel, Hamas launched five rocket strikes on Israel. In November, Isra Almodallal was appointed the first spokeswoman of the group.

2014 ISRAEL–GAZA CONFLICT

Main article: 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict

On 8 July 2014 Israel
Israel
launched Operation Protective Edge to counter increased Hamas
Hamas
rocket fire from Gaza. The conflict ended with a permanent cease-fire after 7 weeks, and more than 2,200 dead. 64 of the dead were Israeli soldiers, 7 were civilians in Israel
Israel
(from rocket attacks), and 2,101 were killed in Gaza, of which according to UN OCHA at least 1,460 were civilians. Israel
Israel
says 1,000 of the dead were militants. Following the conflict, Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
president of the Palestinian Authority, accused Hamas
Hamas
of needlessly extending the fighting in the Gaza Strip, contributing to the high death toll, of running a "shadow government" in Gaza, and of illegally executing scores of Palestinians. Hamas
Hamas
has complained about the slow delivery of reconstruction materials after the conflict and announced that they were diverting these materials from civilian uses to build more infiltration tunnels.

MEDIA

In 2005, Hamas
Hamas
announced its intention to launch an experimental TV channel, Al-Aqsa TV . The station was launched on January 7, 2006, less than three weeks before the Palestinian legislative elections . It has shown television programs, including some children's television, which deliver anti-semitic messages. Hamas
Hamas
has stated that the television station is "an independent media institution that often does not express the views of the Palestinian government headed by Ismail Haniyeh or of the Hamas
Hamas
movement," and that Hamas
Hamas
does not hold anti-semitic views. Hamas
Hamas
produced several propaganda songs aimed to scare Israeli citizen including Shock Israel\'s Security and "Go, call a Gazan to rip Giv\'ati ".

CHILDREN\'S MAGAZINE

Main article: Al-Fateh

Al-Fateh ("the conqueror") is the Hamas
Hamas
children's magazine, published biweekly in London, and also posted in an online website. It began publication in September 2002, and its 108th issue was released in mid-September 2007. The magazine features stories, poems, riddles, and puzzles, and states it is for "the young builders of the future".

According to MEMRI (three of whose seven founding staff had formerly served in the IDF), the magazine includes incitement to jihad and martyrdom and glorification of terrorist operations and of their planners and perpetrators. as well as characterizations of Jews as "murderers of the prophets" and laudatory descriptions of parents who encourage their sons to kill Jews. In each issue, a regular feature titled "The Story of a Martyr" presents the "heroic deeds" of a mujahid from one of the organizations who died in a suicide operation, including operations against civilians, or who was killed by the IDF. MEMRI also noted that the magazine includes illustrations of figures, including child warriors, who embody the ethos of jihad and martyrdom, presenting them as role models. These include the magazine's titular character, Al-Fateh ("The Conqueror")—a small boy on a horse brandishing a drawn scimitar—as well as children carrying guns, and photos of Hamas
Hamas
fighters launching Qassam rockets.

AL-AQSA TV

Main article: Al-Aqsa TV See also: Tomorrow\'s Pioneers

Al-Aqsa TV is a television channel founded by Hamas. The station began broadcasting in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
on January 9, 2006. Its programming includes ideologically tinged children's shows, news talk, and religiously inspired entertainment. According to the Anti-Defamation League
Anti-Defamation League
, the station promotes terrorist activity and incites hatred of Jews and Israelis. Hamas
Hamas
has stated that the television station is "an independent media institution that often does not express the views of the Palestinian government headed by Ismail Haniyeh or of the Hamas
Hamas
movement," and that Hamas
Hamas
does not hold anti-semitic views. Al-Aqsa TV is headed by Fathi Ahmad Hammad , chairman of al-Ribat Communications and Artistic Productions—a Hamas-run company that also produces Hamas's radio station, _Voice of al-Aqsa_, and its biweekly newspaper, _The Message_.

ISLAMIZATION EFFORTS

IN THE GAZA STRIP

Main article: Islamization of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip

The gender ideology outlined in the Hamas
Hamas
charter, the importance of women in the religious-nationalist project of liberation is asserted, while defining that role as one of manufacturing males and caring for their upbringing and rearing. This is not too different from Fatah's view of women in the First Intifada
First Intifada
and resembles also Jewish settlers' outlook, and over time has be subject to change.

In 1989, during the first intifada , a small number of Hamas followers campaigned for the wearing of the hijab , which is not a part of traditional women's attire in Palestine, for polygamy, and also insisted women stay at home and be segregated from men. In the course of this campaign, women who chose not to wear the hijab were verbally and physically harassed, with the result that the hijab was being worn 'just to avoid problems on the streets'. The harassment dropped drastically when, after 18 months UNLU condemned it, though similar campaigns reoccurred.

Since Hamas
Hamas
took control of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
in 2007, some of its members have attempted to impose Islamic dress or the hijab head covering on women. Also, the government's "Islamic Endowment Ministry" has deployed Virtue Committee members to warn citizens of the dangers of immodest dress, card playing, and dating. However, there are no government laws imposing dress and other moral standards, and the Hamas
Hamas
education ministry reversed one effort to impose Islamic dress on students. There has also been successful resistance to attempts by local Hamas
Hamas
officials to impose Islamic dress on women.

Hamas
Hamas
officials deny having any plans to impose Islamic law, one legislator stating that "What you are seeing are incidents, not policy," and that Islamic law is the desired standard "but we believe in persuasion". The Hamas
Hamas
education ministry reversed one effort to impose Islamic dress on students. When the BBC in 2010 interviewed five "middle-class" women in Gaza City
Gaza City
, the subjects generally indicated Hamas
Hamas
attempts to enforce conservative religious standards of dress had been largely rejected by the local population, with some expressing concern that the closure of Gaza would allow the proliferation of extremist enforcement attempts by low-level Hamas officials, and others indicating they were happy to see Hamas enforcing such requirements. They also cited examples of leniency by Hamas
Hamas
authorities, such as allowing widowed women to keep custody of their children so long as they did not remarry, and other relaxations in the enforcement of Shariah law. One woman noted that the environment was "not as bad" as during the First Intifada, when women were subject to public criticism and stonings for failure to obey conservative Islamic standards of dress. One woman complained that women were not free to speak their minds or travel alone, and added: " Hamas
Hamas
want to force themselves onto the people. They want the people to submit to them, this is their cover. They destroyed the reputation of Islam, by saying we're doing this because it is religion. This is how they won the elections."

In 2013, UNRWA canceled its annual marathon in Gaza after Hamas rulers prohibited women from participating in the race.

IN THE WEST BANK

In 2005, the human rights organization Freemuse released a report titled "Palestine: Taliban-like attempts to censor music", which said that Palestinian musicians feared that harsh religious laws against music and concerts will be imposed since Hamas
Hamas
group scored political gains in the Palestinian Authority local elections of 2005.

The attempt by Hamas
Hamas
to dictate a cultural code of conduct in the 1980s and early 1990s led to a violent fighting between different Palestinian sectors. Hamas
Hamas
members reportedly burned down stores that stocked videos they deemed indecent and destroyed books they described as "heretical".

In 2005, an outdoor music and dance performance in Qalqiliya
Qalqiliya
were suddenly banned by the Hamas
Hamas
led municipality, for the reason that such an event would be forbidden by Islam, or " Haram
Haram
". The municipality also ordered that music no longer be played in the Qalqiliya
Qalqiliya
zoo, and mufti Akrameh Sabri issued a religious edict affirming the municipality decision. In response, the Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish warned that "There are Taliban-type elements in our society, and this is a very dangerous sign."

The Palestinian columnist Mohammed Abd Al-Hamid, a resident of Ramallah, wrote that this religious coercion could cause the migration of artists, and said "The religious fanatics in Algeria destroyed every cultural symbol, shattered statues and rare works of art and liquidated intellectuals and artists, reporters and authors, ballet dancers and singers – are we going to imitate the Algerian and Afghani examples?"

TAYYIP ERDOğAN\'S TURKEY AS A ROLE MODEL

Some Hamas
Hamas
members stated that the model of Islamic government that Hamas
Hamas
seeks to emulate is that of Turkey
Turkey
under the rule of Tayyip Erdoğan . The foremost members to distance Hamas
Hamas
from the practices of Taliban
Taliban
and to publicly support the Erdoğan model were Ahmad Yousef and Ghazi Hamad , advisers to Prime Minister Hanieh. Yusuf, the Hamas
Hamas
deputy foreign minister, reflected this goal in an interview to a Turkish newspaper, stating that while foreign public opinion equates Hamas
Hamas
with the Taliban
Taliban
or al-Qaeda, the analogy is inaccurate. Yusuf described the Taliban
Taliban
as "opposed to everything," including education and women's rights, while Hamas
Hamas
wants to establish good relations between the religious and secular elements of society and strives for human rights, democracy and an open society. According to professor Yezid Sayigh of the King\'s College in London, how influential this view is within Hamas
Hamas
is uncertain, since both Ahmad Yousef and Ghazi Hamad were dismissed from their posts as advisers to Hamas
Hamas
Prime Minister Ismail Hanieh in October 2007. Both have since been appointed to other prominent positions within the Hamas government. Khaled al-Hroub of the West Bank-based and anti- Hamas
Hamas
Palestinian daily Al Ayyam added that despite claims by Hamas
Hamas
leaders that it wants to repeat the Turkish model of Islam, "what is happening on the ground in reality is a replica of the Taliban
Taliban
model of Islam."

ANTISEMITISM AND ANTI-ZIONISM

See also: Racism in the Palestinian territories

According to academic Esther Webman, antisemitism is not the main tenet of Hamas
Hamas
ideology, although antisemitic rhetoric is frequent and intense in Hamas
Hamas
leaflets. The leaflets generally do not differentiate between Jews and Zionists. In other Hamas
Hamas
publications and in interviews with its leaders attempts at this differentiation have been made. In 2009 representatives of the small Jewish sect Neturei Karta met with Hamas
Hamas
leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, who stated that he held nothing against Jews but only against the state of Israel. Some commentators have pointed out parallels between Hamas's youth organization and Hitler Youth . According to writer Tom Doran, Hamas is not recognized as a neo-Nazi group because its members are not "white Christians".

Hamas
Hamas
has made conflicting statements about its readiness to recognize Israel. In 2006 a spokesman signaled readiness to recognize Israel
Israel
within the 1967 borders. Speaking of requests for Hamas
Hamas
to recognize agreements between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, senior Hamas
Hamas
member Khaled Suleiman said that "these agreements are a reality which we view as such, and therefore I see no problem." Also in 2006, a Hamas
Hamas
official ruled out recognition of Israel
Israel
with reference to West and East Germany, which never recognized each other.

HAMAS CHARTER (1988)

Main article: Hamas Covenant

* Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant provides the following quotation, attributed to Muhammad
Muhammad
:

The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree (evidently a certain kind of tree), would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.

* Article 22 states that the French revolution , the Russian revolution , colonialism and both world wars were created by the Zionists or forces supportive of Zionism:

You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations
United Nations
and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.

* Article 32 of the Covenant refers to an antisemitic forgery, _The Protocols of the Elders of Zion _:

Today it is Palestine, tomorrow it will be one country or another. The Zionist
Zionist
plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in _The Protocols of the Elders of Zion_, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.

STATEMENTS BY HAMAS MEMBERS AND CLERICS TO AN ARAB AUDIENCE

In 2008, Imam Yousif al-Zahar of Hamas
Hamas
said in his sermon at the _Katib Wilayat _ mosque in Gaza that "Jews are a people who cannot be trusted. They have been traitors to all agreements. Go back to history. Their fate is their vanishing."

Another Hamas
Hamas
legislator and imam, Sheik Yunus al-Astal, discussed a Koranic verse suggesting that "suffering by fire is the Jews' destiny in this world and the next." He concluded "Therefore we are sure that the Holocaust
Holocaust
is still to come upon the Jews."

Following the rededication of the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in March 2010, senior Hamas
Hamas
figure al-Zahar called on Palestinians everywhere to observe five minutes of silence "for Israel's disappearance and to identify with Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and the al-Aqsa mosque". He further stated that "Wherever you have been you've been sent to your destruction. You've killed and murdered your prophets and you have always dealt in loan-sharking and destruction. You've made a deal with the devil and with destruction itself – just like your synagogue."

On August 10, 2012, Ahmad Bahr, Deputy Speaker of the Hamas Parliament, stated in a sermon that aired on _ Al-Aqsa TV _:

If the enemy sets foot on a single square inch of Islamic land, Jihad becomes an individual duty, incumbent on every Muslim, male or female. A woman may set out without her husband's permission, and a servant without his master's permission. Why? In order to annihilate those Jews.... O Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters. O Allah, destroy the Americans and their supporters. O Allah, count them one by one, and kill them all, without leaving a single one.

In an interview with Al-Aqsa TV in September 12, 2012, Marwan Abu Ras, a Hamas
Hamas
MP, who is also a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars , stated (as translated by MEMRI ):

The Jews are behind each and every catastrophe on the face of the Earth. This is not open to debate. This is not a temporal thing, but goes back to days of yore. They concocted so many conspiracies and betrayed rulers and nations so many times that the people harbor hatred towards them.... Throughout history – from Nebuchadnezzar until modern times ... They slayed the prophets, and so on.... Any catastrophe on the face of this Earth – the Jews must be behind it.

On December 26, 2012, Senior Hamas
Hamas
official and Jerusalem
Jerusalem
bureau chief Ahmed Abu Haliba, called on "all Palestinian factions to resume suicide attacks ... deep inside the Zionist
Zionist
enemy" and said that "we must renew the resistance to occupation in any possible way, above all through armed resistance." Abu Haliba suggested the use of suicide bombings as a response to Israel's plans to build housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In an interview on Lebanese television on July 28, 2014, Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan claimed:

We all remember how the Jews used to slaughter Christians, in order to mix their blood in their holy matzos. This is not a figment of imagination or something taken from a film. It is a fact, acknowledged by their own books and by historical evidence. It happened everywhere, here and there.

STATEMENTS BY HAMAS MEMBERS AND CLERICS TO AN INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE

In an interview with _ CBS This Morning
CBS This Morning
_ in July 27, 2014, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal stated:

We are not fanatics. We are not fundamentalists. We are not actually fighting the Jews because they are Jews per se. We do not fight any other races. We fight the occupiers.

On January 8, 2012, during a visit to Tunis
Tunis
, Gazan Hamas
Hamas
PM Ismail Haniyeh told The Associated Press on that he disagrees with the anti-Semitic slogans. "We are not against the Jews because they are Jews. Our problem is with those occupying the land of Palestine," he said. "There are Jews all over the world, but Hamas
Hamas
does not target them." In response to a statement by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
that Hamas
Hamas
preferred non-violent means and had agreed to adopt "peaceful resistance," Hamas
Hamas
contradicted Abbas. According to Hamas
Hamas
spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri, "We had agreed to give popular resistance precedence in the West Bank, but this does not come at the expense of armed resistance."

In May 2009, senior Hamas
Hamas
MP Sayed Abu Musameh said, "in our culture, we respect every foreigner, especially Jews and Christians, but we are against Zionists, not as nationalists but as fascists and racists." In the same interview, he also said, "I hate all kinds of weapons. I dream of seeing every weapon from the atomic bomb to small guns banned everywhere." In January 2009, Gazan Hamas
Hamas
Health Minister Basim Naim published a letter in _ The Guardian
The Guardian
_, stating that Hamas
Hamas
has no quarrel with Jewish people, only with the actions of Israel. In October 1994, in a response to Isreael's crackdown on Hamas
Hamas
militants following a suicide bombing on a Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
bus, Hamas
Hamas
promised retaliation: "Rabin must know that Hamas
Hamas
loves death more than Rabin and his soldiers love life." The statement added that " Hamas
Hamas
will not hesitate to retaliate severely against any attempt to harm our leaders."

STATEMENTS ON THE HOLOCAUST

Hamas
Hamas
has been explicit in its Holocaust denial . In reaction to the Stockholm conference on the Jewish Holocaust
Holocaust
, held in late January 2000, Hamas
Hamas
issued a press release that it published on its official website, containing the following statements from a senior leader:

This conference bears a clear Zionist
Zionist
goal, aimed at forging history by hiding the truth about the so-called Holocaust, which is an alleged and invented story with no basis. (...) The invention of these grand illusions of an alleged crime that never occurred, ignoring the millions of dead European victims of Nazism during the war, clearly reveals the racist Zionist
Zionist
face, which believes in the superiority of the Jewish race over the rest of the nations. (...) By these methods, the Jews in the world flout scientific methods of research whenever that research contradicts their racist interests.

In August 2003, senior Hamas
Hamas
official Dr Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rantisi wrote in the Hamas
Hamas
newspaper _Al-Risala_ that the Zionists encouraged murder of Jews by the Nazis with the aim of forcing them to immigrate to Palestine.

In 2005, Khaled Mashal called Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
's December 14, 2005 statements on the Holocaust
Holocaust
that Europeans had "created a myth in the name of Holocaust" ) as "courageous". Later in 2008, Basim Naim , the minister of health in the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government in Gaza countered holocaust denial, and said "it should be made clear that neither Hamas
Hamas
nor the Palestinian government in Gaza denies the Nazi Holocaust. The Holocaust was not only a crime against humanity but one of the most abhorrent crimes in modern history. We condemn it as we condemn every abuse of humanity and all forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, race, gender or nationality."

In an open letter to Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
UNRWA chief John Ging published August 20, 2009, the movement's Popular Committees for Refugees called the Holocaust
Holocaust
"a lie invented by the Zionists," adding that the group refused to let Gazan children study it. Hamas
Hamas
leader Younis al-Astal continued by saying that having the Holocaust
Holocaust
included in the UNRWA curriculum for Gaza students amounted to "marketing a lie and spreading it". Al-Astal continued "I do not exaggerate when I say this issue is a war crime, because of how it serves the Zionist
Zionist
colonizers and deals with their hypocrisy and lies."

In February 2011, Hamas
Hamas
voiced opposition to UNRWA's teaching of the Holocaust
Holocaust
in Gaza. According to Hamas, " Holocaust
Holocaust
studies in refugee camps is a contemptible plot and serves the Zionist
Zionist
entity with a goal of creating a reality and telling stories in order to justify acts of slaughter against the Palestinian people." In July 2012, Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas
Hamas
spokesman, denounced a visit by Ziad al-Bandak, an adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
, to the Auschwitz death camp, saying it was "unjustified" and "unhelpful" and only served the " Zionist
Zionist
occupation" while coming "at the expense of a real Palestinian tragedy". He also called the Holocaust
Holocaust
an "alleged tragedy" and "exaggerated". In October 2012, Hamas
Hamas
said that they were opposed to teaching about the Holocaust
Holocaust
in Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency. The Refugee Affairs Department of Hamas
Hamas
said that teaching the Holocaust
Holocaust
was a "crime against the issue of the refugees that is aimed at canceling their right of return".

VIOLENCE AND TERRORISM

Main article: Criticism of Hamas

Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel
Israel

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
into Israel
Israel
, December 2008.

BY YEAR

* 2001 * 2002–2006 * 2007 * 2008

* 2008 ceasefire * Gaza War * 2009 * 2010

* 2011 * 2012 * 2013 * 2014

* 2015 * 2016 * 2017

GROUPS RESPONSIBLE

* Fatah
Fatah
* Hamas * Islamic Jihad
Jihad

* PFLP * DFLP * PRC

* Ansar al-Sunna * Force 17

* Army of Islam
Islam
* Tawhid wal- Jihad
Jihad

* Abdullah Azzam Brigades

* Mujahideen
Mujahideen
Shura Council

ROCKET TYPES

* Mortar * Qassam * Al-Quds

* Katyusha * Grad * Fajr-5
Fajr-5

CITIES HIT

* Ashdod
Ashdod
* Ashkelon
Ashkelon
* Beersheba
Beersheba

* Eilat
Eilat
* Gedera * Kiryat Gat
Kiryat Gat

* Kiryat Malakhi * Netivot

* Sderot * Ofakim * Yavne

* Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
* Jerusalem
Jerusalem

REGIONAL COUNCIL AREAS HIT

Hof Ashkelon
Ashkelon

* ( Karmia * Netiv HaAsara

* Yad Mordechai * Zikim )

Eshkol

* ( Nir Oz * Nirim * Yesha )

Sha\'ar Ha Negev
Negev

* ( Kfar Aza * Nahal Oz * Nir Am )

Sdot Negev
Negev

* ( Alumim * Sa\'ad )

* Merhavim * Be\'er Tuvia * Yoav

* Bnei Shimon * Gush Etzion

SETTLEMENTS HIT (EVACUATED)

* Atzmona * Dugit * Elei Sinai

* Gadid * Ganei Tal * Katif

* Kfar Darom * Morag

* Netzarim * Netzer Hazani

* Neve Dekalim * Nisanit

* Rafiah Yam * Slav

DEFENSE AND RESPONSE

* Civil defense in Israel
Israel

* Red Color * Iron Dome * ZAKA

SEE ALSO

* Rocket attacks on Eilat
Eilat

* Lebanese rocket attacks on Israel
Israel

* v * t * e

Hamas
Hamas
has used both political activities and violence in pursuit of its goals. For example, while politically engaged in the 2006 Palestinian Territories parliamentary election campaign, Hamas
Hamas
stated in its election manifesto that it was prepared to use "armed resistance to end the occupation".

From 2000 to 2004, Hamas
Hamas
was responsible for killing nearly 400 Israelis
Israelis
and wounding more than 2,000 in 425 attacks, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2001 through May 2008, Hamas launched more than 3,000 Qassam rockets and 2,500 mortar attacks into Israel.

ATTACKS ON CIVILIANS

In the first years of the First Intifada
First Intifada
(1987–1993), Hamas violence was directed first at collaborators with Israel
Israel
and at individuals it considered moral deviants, and then later at the Israeli military. A new direction began with the formation of the al-Qassam Brigades militia in 1992, and in 1993 suicide attacks began against Israeli targets on the West Bank. Aftermath of 1996 Jaffa Road bus bombings in which 26 people were killed

The first such attack occurred on April 16, 1993, when an al-Qassam Brigades operative detonated explosives in a car he parked next to two buses, one military and one civilian, in the West Bank
West Bank
town of Mehola , killing a Palestinian civilian and wounding 8 Israeli soldiers. After the February 1994 massacre by Baruch Goldstein of 30 Muslim civilians in a Hebron mosque, the al-Qassam Brigades expanded suicide attacks to target primarily civilians. The first of the suicide bombings that targeted civilians was at Afula on April 16, 1994, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden car next to a bus, killing nine (including the bomber) and wounding 50. The most deadly suicide bombing was an attack on a Netanya hotel on March 27, 2002, in which 30 people were killed and 140 were wounded. The attack has also been referred to as the Passover
Passover
massacre since it took place on the first night of the Jewish festival of Passover
Passover
at a Seder .

Hamas
Hamas
has defended suicide attacks as a legitimate aspect of its asymmetric warfare against Israel. In 2003, according to Stephen Atkins, Hamas
Hamas
resumed suicide bombings in Israel
Israel
as a retaliatory measure after the failure of peace talks and an Israeli campaign targeting members of the upper echelon of the Hamas
Hamas
leadership., but they are considered as crimes against humanity under international law. In a 2002 report, Human Rights Watch stated that Hamas
Hamas
leaders "should be held accountable" for "war crimes and crimes against humanity" committed by the al-Qassam Brigades.

In May 2006 Israel
Israel
arrested a top Hamas
Hamas
official, Ibrahim Hamed , who Israeli security officials alleged was responsible for dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks on Israelis. Hamed's trial on those charges has not yet concluded. In 2008, Hamas
Hamas
explosives engineer Shihab al-Natsheh organized a deadly suicide bombing in Dimona .

Since 2002, paramilitary soldiers of al-Qassam Brigades and other groups have used homemade Qassam rockets to hit Israeli towns in the Negev
Negev
, such as Sderot . Al-Qassam Brigades was estimated in 2007 to have launched 22% of the rocket and mortar attacks, which killed fifteen people between the years 2000 and 2009 (see Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel
Israel
). The introduction of the _Qassam-2_ rocket in 2008 enabled Palestinian paramilitary groups to reach, from Gaza, such Israeli cities such as Ashkelon
Ashkelon
.

In 2008, Hamas
Hamas
leader Khaled Mashal , offered that Hamas
Hamas
would attack only military targets if the IDF would stop causing the deaths of Palestinian civilians. Following a June 19, 2008 ceasefire, the al-Qassam Brigades ended its rocket attacks and arrested Fatah militants in Gaza who had continued sporadic rocket and mortar attacks against Israel. The al-Qassam Brigades resumed the attacks after the November 4 Israeli incursion into Gaza.

On 15 June 2014, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
accused Hamas
Hamas
of involvement in the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers (including one who held American citizenship), saying "This has severe repercussions." On 20 July 2014, nearly two weeks into Operation Protective Edge , Netanyahu in an interview with CNN
CNN
described Hamas as "genocidal terrorists."

On 5 August 2014 Israel
Israel
announced that Israeli security forces arrested Hussam Kawasme, in Shuafat , in connection with the murders. During interrogation, Kawasme admitted to being the mastermind behind the attack, in addition to securing the funding from Hamas. Officials have stated that additional people arrested in connection with the murders are still being held, but no names have been released.

On 20 August, Saleh al-Arouri, a Hamas
Hamas
leader in exile in Turkey, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens. He delivered an address on behalf of Khaled Mashal at the conference of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in Istanbul
Istanbul
, a move that might reflect a desire by Hamas
Hamas
to gain leverage. In it he said: "Our goal was to ignite an intifada in the West Bank
West Bank
and Jerusalem, as well as within the 1948 borders... Your brothers in the Al-Qassam Brigades carried out this operation to support their imprisoned brothers, who were on a hunger strike... The mujahideen captured these settlers in order to have a swap deal." Hamas
Hamas
political leader Khaled Mashal accepted that members of Hamas
Hamas
were responsible, stating that he knew nothing of it in advance and that what the leadership knew of the details came from reading Israeli reports. Meshaal, who has headed Hamas's exiled political wing since 2004, has denied being involved in the "details" of Hamas
Hamas
"military issues", but "justified the killings as a legitimate action against Israelis
Israelis
on "occupied" lands."

Hamas
Hamas
suicide attacks on Israeli civilians have largely disappeared since 2005; this has coincided with an increase in rocket attacks. One analysis suggests that the decline in suicide attacks is not motivated by any lack of supplies or volunteers to carry out such operations, by enhanced Israeli security measures such as the West Bank
West Bank
barrier (if Israeli actions were the reason, one would expect to see an equal decline in suicide attacks by all Palestinian factions, which is not observed), or by a newfound desire for reconciliation with Israel
Israel
on the part of Hamas. Rather, suicide bombings provoked targeted killings that decimated the leadership of Hamas, whereas rocket attacks have elicited weaker Israeli reprisals that have tended to harm the Palestinian population as a whole more than Hamas
Hamas
(such as the blockade of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
)—thereby paradoxically increasing Hamas's popular support.

ROCKET ATTACKS ON ISRAEL

Rocket attacks by Hamas
Hamas
have been condemned by Human rights organizations as war crimes , both because they usually take aim at civilians and because the weapons' inaccuracy would disproportionately endanger civilians even if military targets were chosen. After Operation Pillar of Defense, Human Rights Watch stated that armed Palestinian groups fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities, violating international humanitarian law, and that statements by Palestinian groups that they deliberately targeted Israeli civilians demonstrated an "intent to commit war crimes". HRW's Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said that Palestinian groups made clear that "harming civilians was their aim" and said that launching rockets at populated areas had no legal justification. International humanitarian law prohibits deliberate attacks on civilians and intentional violations can be war crimes.

According to Human Rights Watch, Hamas
Hamas
and other Palestinian armed groups have launched thousands of rockets into Israel
Israel
since 2001, killing 15 civilians, wounding many more, and posing an ongoing threat to the nearly 800,000 Israeli civilians who live and work in the weapons' range. Hamas
Hamas
officials have said that the rockets were aimed only at military targets, saying that civilian casualties were the "accidental result" of the weapons' poor quality. According to Human Rights Watch, statements by Hamas
Hamas
leaders suggest that the purpose of the rocket attacks was indeed to strike civilians and civilian objects. From January 2009, following Operation Cast Lead , Hamas largely stopped launching rocket attacks on Israel
Israel
and has on at least two occasions arrested members of other groups who have launched rockets, "showing that it has the ability to impose the law when it wants". In February 2010, Hamas
Hamas
issued a statement regretting any harm that may have befallen Israeli civilians as a result of Palestinian rocket attacks during the Gaza war. It maintained that its rocket attacks had been aimed at Israeli military targets but lacked accuracy and hence sometimes hit civilian areas. Israel
Israel
responded that Hamas
Hamas
had boasted repeatedly of targeting and murdering civilians in the media.

According to one report, commenting on the 2014 conflict, "nearly all the 2,500–3,000 rockets and mortars Hamas
Hamas
has fired at Israel
Israel
since the start of the war seem to have been aimed at towns", including an attack on "a kibbutz collective farm close to the Gaza border", in which an Israeli child was killed. Former Israeli Lt. Col. Jonathan D. Halevi stated that " Hamas
Hamas
has expressed pride in aiming long-range rockets at strategic targets in Israel
Israel
including the nuclear reactor in Dimona, the chemical plants in Haifa, and Ben-Gurion Airport", which "could have caused thousands" of Israeli casualties "if successful".

In July 2008 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
, then the Democratic presidential candidate, said: "If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that, and I would expect Israelis
Israelis
to do the same thing." On December 28, 2008, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
said in a statement: "the United States
United States
strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel." On March 2, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
condemned the attacks.

ATTEMPTS TO DERAIL 2010 PEACE TALKS

See also: 2010 Palestinian militancy campaign

In 2010, Hamas, who have been actively sidelined from the peace talks by Israel, spearheaded a coordinated effort by 13 Palestinian militant groups, in attempt to derail the stalled peace talks between Israel and Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
, President of the Palestinian Authority . According to the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Major Gen. Eitan Dangot, Israel
Israel
seeks to work with Salam Fayyad , to help revive the Palestinian economy, and hopes to ease restrictions on the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
further, "while somehow preventing the Islamic militants who rule it from getting credit for any progress". According to Dangot, Hamas
Hamas
must not be seen as ruling successfully or be allowed to "get credit for a policy that would improve the lives of people". The campaign consists of attacks against Israelis
Israelis
in which, according to a Hamas
Hamas
declaration in early September, "all options are open". The participating groups also include Palestinian Islamic Jihad
Jihad
, the Popular Resistance Committees and an unnamed splinter group of Fatah
Fatah
.

As part of the campaign, on August 31, 2010, 4 Israeli settlers, including a pregnant woman, were killed by Hamas
Hamas
militants while driving on Route 60 near the settlement Kiryat Arba , in the West bank. According to witnesses, militants opened fire on the moving vehicle, but then "approached the car" and shot the occupants in their seats at "close range". The attack was described by Israeli sources as one of the "worst" terrorist acts in years. A senior Hamas
Hamas
official said that Israeli settlers in the West Bank
West Bank
are legitimate targets since "they are an army in every sense of the word".

THEMES OF MARTYRDOM

See also: Martyrdom in Islam
Islam

According to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch, in 2008, Fathi Hamad, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council , stated on Al-Aqsa TV , "For the Palestinian people death became an industry, at which women excel and so do all people on this land: the elderly excel, the Jihad
Jihad
fighters excel, and the children excel. Accordingly (Palestinians) created a human shield of women, children, the elderly and the Jihad
Jihad
fighters against the Zionist
Zionist
bombing machine, as if they were saying to the Zionist
Zionist
enemy: 'We desire death as you desire life.'"

In 2010, Hamas
Hamas
speaker Ahmad Bahr praised the virtues of martyrdom and Jihad, and said that 2.5 million black-eyed virgins were waiting in the Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
, which could be entered only by prophets, by the righteous, and by martyrs. He continued by saying that nobody on Earth "will be able to confront the resistance, or to confront the mujahideen, those who worship Allah and seek martyrdom".

GUERRILLA WARFARE

Hamas
Hamas
anti-tank rockets, captured by Israel
Israel
Defense Forces during Operation Protective Edge

Hamas
Hamas
has made great use of guerrilla tactics in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
and to a lesser degree the West Bank. It has successfully adapted these techniques over the years since its inception. According to a 2006 report by rival Fatah
Fatah
party, Hamas
Hamas
had smuggled between several hundred and 1,300 tons of advanced rockets, along with other weaponry, into Gaza.

Hamas
Hamas
has used IEDs and anti-tank rockets against the IDF in Gaza. The latter include standard RPG-7
RPG-7
warheads and home-made rockets such as the Al-Bana , Al- Batar and Al-Yasin . The IDF has a difficult, if not impossible time trying to find hidden weapons caches in Palestinian areas — this is due to the high local support base Hamas enjoys.

EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS OF RIVALS

In addition to killing Israeli civilians and armed forces, Hamas
Hamas
has also murdered suspected Palestinian Israel
Israel
collaborators and Fatah rivals. Hundreds of Palestinians were executed by both Hamas
Hamas
and Fatah
Fatah
during the First Intifada
First Intifada
. In the wake of the 2006 Israeli conflict with Gaza, Hamas
Hamas
was accused of systematically rounding up, torturing and summarily executing Fatah
Fatah
supporters suspected of supplying information to Israel. Human Rights Watch estimates several hundred Gazans were "maimed" and tortured in the aftermath of the conflict. Seventy-three Gazan men accused of "collaborating" had their arms and legs broken by "unidentified perpetrators" and 18 Palestinians accused of helping Israel
Israel
were executed by Hamas
Hamas
security officials in the first days of the conflict. In November 2012, Hamas's Izzedine al-Qassam brigade publicly executed six Gaza residents accused of collaborating with Israel. According to the witnesses, six alleged informers were shot dead one by one in Gaza City , while the corpse of the sixth victim was tied by a cable to the back of a motorcycle and dragged through the streets. In 2013, Human Rights Watch issued a statement condemning Hamas
Hamas
for not investigating and giving a proper trial to the 6 men. Their statement was released the day before Hamas
Hamas
issued a deadline for "collaborators" to turn themselves in, or they will be pursued "without mercy". In August 2014, during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict , at least 22 accused collaborators were executed by Hamas
Hamas
shortly after 3 of its commanders were assassinated by Israeli forces. An Israeli source denied that any of the commanders had been targeted on the basis of human intelligence.

Frequent killings of unarmed people have also occurred during Hamas- Fatah
Fatah
clashes. NGOs have cited a number of summary executions as particular examples of violations of the rules of warfare, including the case of Muhammad
Muhammad
Swairki, 28, a cook for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's presidential guard, who was thrown to his death, with his hands and legs tied, from a 15-story apartment building in Gaza City. Hamas
Hamas
security forces reportedly shoot and torture Palestinians who opposed Hamas
Hamas
rule in Gaza. In one case, a Palestinian had criticized Hamas
Hamas
in a conversation on the street with some friends. Later that day, more than a dozen armed men with black masks and red kaffiyeh took the man from his home, and brought him to a solitary area where they shot him three times in the lower legs and ankles. The man told Human Rights Watch that he was not politically active.

On August 14, 2009, Hamas
Hamas
fighters stormed the Mosque of cleric Abdel-Latif Moussa . The cleric was protected by at least 100 fighters from Jund Ansar Allah ("Army of the Helpers of God"), an Islamist group with links to Al-Qaeda. The resulting battle left at least 13 people dead, including Moussa and 6 Hamas
Hamas
fighters, and 120 people injured. According to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
, during 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict , Hamas
Hamas
killed more than 120 Palestinian youths for defying house arrest imposed on them by Hamas, in addition to 30-40 Palestinians killed by Hamas
Hamas
in extrajudicial executions after accusing them of being collaborators with Israel. Referring to the killing of suspected collaborators, a Shin Bet official stated that "not even one" of those executed by Hamas provided any intelligence to Israel, while the Shin Bet officially "confirmed that those executed during Operation Protective Edge had all been held in prison in Gaza in the course of the hostilities".

2011–2013 SINAI INSURGENCY

See also: Sinai insurgency

Hamas
Hamas
has been accused of providing weapons, training and fighters for Sinai-based insurgent attacks, although Hamas
Hamas
strongly denies the allegations, calling them a smear campaign aiming to harm relations with Egypt. According to the Egyptian Army, since the ouster of Egypt's Muslim-Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi
Mohamed Morsi
, over 600 Hamas
Hamas
members have entered the Sinai Peninsula through smuggling tunnels. In addition, several weapons used in Sinai's insurgent attacks are being traced back to Hamas
Hamas
in the Gaza Strip, according to the army. The four leading insurgent groups in the Sinai have all reportedly maintained close ties with the Gaza Strip. Hamas
Hamas
is also accused of helping Morsi and other high-ranking Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members break out of the Wadi Natroun prison in Cairo during the 2011 revolution. Hamas
Hamas
called the accusation a "dangerous development". Egyptian authorities stated that the 2011 Alexandria bombing was carried out by the Gaza-based Army of Islam
Islam
, which has received sanctuary from Hamas
Hamas
and earlier collaborated in the capture of Gilad Shalit. Army of Islam
Islam
members linked to the August 2012 Sinai attack have reportedly sought refuge in the Gaza Strip. Egypt stated that Hamas
Hamas
directly provided logistical support to the Muslim Brotherhood militants who carried out the December 2013 Mansoura bombing .

INTERNATIONAL DESIGNATIONS AS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

Main article: International Positions on the Nature of Hamas

Hamas, together with several charities it runs, has been designated by several governments and some academics as a terrorist organization. Others regard Hamas
Hamas
as a complex organization with terrorism as only one component. Israel
Israel
outlawed Hamas
Hamas
in September 1989 The United States followed suit in 1995, as did Canada in November 2002. The European Union
European Union
outlawed Hamas's military wing in 2001 and included Hamas
Hamas
in its list of terrorist organizations in 2003, which Hamas successfully challenged in the courts, and continued to do so under American and Israeli pressure. The basis of Hamas's challenge to the EU classification in 2007 was that it was drawn up on the basis of media reports, rather than grounded in any analysis of Hamas's history. In July 2017, the European Court of Justice
European Court of Justice
overruled this challenge, citing that the evidence of media reports was only used for keeping Hamas
Hamas
on the list, rather than to add it to the list in the first place.

The European General Court found in favour of Hamas
Hamas
in 2014, though the verdict was appealed by the EU countries. In September 2016 a legal advisor to the European Court of Justice, Eleanor Sharpston, provided an advisory opinion, in favour of cancelling the listing of Hamas
Hamas
as a terrorist organization. She argued that the determination originally adopted was flawed, and that the EU cannot "rely on facts and evidence found in press articles and information from the internet" in order to list organizations as terrorists. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom have designated the military wing of Hamas
Hamas
as a terrorist organization. The organization is banned in Jordan
Jordan
. It is not regarded as a terrorist organization by Iran, Russia, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, China, and Brazil.

CRITICISM

HUMAN SHIELDS

A Hamas
Hamas
rocket launch site and its civilian surroundings.

After Operation Pillar of Defense , Human Rights Watch stated that Palestinian groups had endangered civilians by "repeatedly fired rockets from densely populated areas, near homes, businesses, and a hotel" and noted that under international law, parties to a conflict may not to place military targets in or near densely populated areas. One rocket was launched close to the Shawa and Housari Building, where various Palestinian and international media have offices; another was fired from the yard of a house near the Deira Hotel. _New York Times _ journalist Steven Erlanger reported that " Hamas
Hamas
rocket and weapons caches, including rocket launchers, have been discovered in and under mosques, schools and civilian homes." Another report published by Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center revealed that Hamas
Hamas
used close to 100 mosques to store weapons and as launch-pads to shoot rockets. The report contains testimony from variety Palestinian sources, including a Hamas
Hamas
militant Sabhi Majad Atar, who said he was taught how to shoot rockets from inside a mosque. Hamas
Hamas
has also been criticized by Israeli officials for blending into or hiding among the Palestinian civilian population During the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict . The Israeli government published what it said was video evidence of human shield tactics by Hamas. Israel
Israel
said that Hamas frequently used mosques and school yards as hideouts and places to store weapons, and that Hamas
Hamas
militants stored weapons in their homes, making it difficult to ensure that civilians close to legitimate military targets are not hurt during Israeli military operations. Israeli officials also accused the Hamas
Hamas
leadership of hiding under Shifa Hospital during the conflict, using the patients inside to deter an Israeli attack.

The Israeli government filed a report entitled "Gaza Operations Investigation: Second Update" to the United Nations
United Nations
accusing Hamas
Hamas
of exploiting its rules of engagement by shooting rockets and launching attacks within protected civilian areas. Israel
Israel
says 12,000 rockets and mortars were fired at it between 2000 and 2008—nearly 3,000 in 2008 alone. In one case, an errant Israeli mortar strike killed dozens of people near a UN school. Hamas
Hamas
said that the mortar killed 42 people and left dozens wounded. Israel
Israel
said that Hamas
Hamas
militants had launched a rocket from a yard adjacent to the school and one mortar of three rounds hit the school, due to a GPS
GPS
error. According to the Israeli military probe, the remaining two rounds hit the yard used to launch rockets into Israel, killing two members of Hamas's military wing who fired the rockets. Human Right Watch called Hamas to "publicly renounce" the rocket attacks against Israeli civilians and hold those responsible to account. Human Right Watch program director Iain Levine said the attacks by Hamas
Hamas
were "unlawful and unjustifiable, and amount to war crimes", and accused Hamas
Hamas
of putting Palestinians at risk by launching attacks from built-up areas. Hamas spokesman relied that the report was "biased" and he denied that Hamas uses human shields.

Human Rights Watch investigated 19 incidents involving 53 civilian deaths in Gaza that Israel
Israel
said were the result of Hamas
Hamas
fighting in densely populated areas and did not find evidence for existence of Palestinian fighters in the areas at the time of the Israeli attack. In other cases where no civilians had died, the report concluded that Hamas
Hamas
may have deliberately fired rockets from areas close to civilians. HRW also investigated 11 deaths that Israel
Israel
said were civilians being used as human shields by Hamas. HRW found no evidence that the civilians were used as human shields, nor had they been shot in crossfire. The Israeli 'human shields' charge against Hamas
Hamas
was called "full of holes" by _The National_ (UAE) , which stated that only Israel
Israel
accused Hamas
Hamas
of using human shields during the conflict, though Hamas
Hamas
"may be guilty" of "locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas" and for "deliberately firing indiscriminate weapons into civilian populated areas".

On July 8, 2014, Hamas's spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri encouraged the "policy of people confronting the Israeli warplanes with their bare chests", saying it has proven itself. One survey of Gazan residents addressed the subject of human shields during the 2014 war, with respondents issuing statements such as "People received warnings from the Israelis
Israelis
and tried to evacuate... Hamas
Hamas
shot some of those people...the rest were forced to return to their homes and get bombed"; " Hamas
Hamas
imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot without being asked any questions. That way Hamas
Hamas
made sure people had to stay in their homes even if they were about to get bombed"; and "My father received a text-message from the Israeli army warning him that our area was going to be bombed, and Hamas
Hamas
prevented us from leaving." Israeli soldiers recounted "Suddenly, a small boy appeared, and the terrorist grabbed him and escaped with him"; "I saw with my own eyes someone using another person, a woman, as a shield...And I can see very clearly that the woman doesn't want to be there and he's pulling her with him"; and "We even found explosives in nurseries. The whole neighborhood was practically a terrorist base."

Israel
Israel
has accused Hamas
Hamas
of using children as human shields . The Israeli government released video footage in which it claims two militants are shown grabbing a young boy's arm from behind holding him to walk in front of them toward a group of people waiting near a wall. The IDF argues the militants were placing the boy between themselves and an Israeli sniper. The second scene shows an individual, described as a terrorist, grabbing a school boy off of a floor, where he is hiding behind a column from IDF fire, and using him as a human shield to walk to a different location. After 15 alleged militants sought refuge in a mosque from Israeli forces, the BBC reported that Hamas radio instructed local women to go the mosque to protect the militants. Two women were later killed when Israeli forces opened fire.

In November 2006, the Israeli Air Force warned Muhammad
Muhammad
Weil Baroud, commander of the Popular Resistance Committees who are accused of launching rockets into Israeli territory, to evacuate his home in a Jabalya refugee camp apartment block in advance of a planned Israeli air strike. Baroud responded by calling for volunteers to protect the apartment block and nearby buildings and, according to _The Jerusalem Post _, hundreds of local residents, mostly women and children, responded. Israel
Israel
suspended the air strike. Israel
Israel
termed the action an example of Hamas
Hamas
using human shields. In response to the incident, Hamas
Hamas
proclaimed: 'We won. From now on we will form human chains around every house threatened with demolition.'" In a November 22 press release, Human Rights Watch condemned Hamas, stating: "There is no excuse for calling civilians to the scene of a planned attack. Whether or not the home is a legitimate military target, knowingly asking civilians to stand in harm's way is unlawful." Following criticism, Human rights
Human rights
Watch issued a statement saying that their initial assessment of the situation was in error. They stated that, on the basis of available evidence, the home demolition was in fact an administrative act, viewed in the context of Israel's longstanding policy of punitive home demolitions, not a military act and thus would not fall within the purview of the law regulating hostilities during armed conflict, which had been the basis for their initial criticism of Hamas.

When the UN-sponsored Goldstone Commission Report on the Gaza War was commissioned in 2009, it stated that it "found no evidence that Palestinian combatants mingled with the civilian population with the intention of shielding themselves from attack" though they deemed credible reports that Palestinian militants were "not always dressed in a way that distinguished them from civilians". Hamas
Hamas
MP Fathi Hamed stated that "For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel...the elderly excel at this...and so do the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children." Following the release of the Goldstone Report, the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan Col. Richard Kemp was invited to testify at the UN Human Rights Council
Human Rights Council
12th Special
Special
Session that during Operation Cast Lead Israel
Israel
encountered an "enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population".

CHILDREN AS COMBATANTS

See also: Children in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict

The Israeli government released a video compiled mostly from Arab news sources showing Palestinian children under the age of 15 going through military training and carrying and firing arms. The video's narration explains that Hamas
Hamas
indoctrinates these child combatants and that Hamas
Hamas
operators send the children "on missions from which they would not risk their own lives". According to the Israeli government, the children are used as spotters, to transport explosives and weapons, sent to play in areas to deter Israeli attacks and are sent unknowingly with explosive devices in their schoolbags to be blown up in the vicinity of Israelis. The United Nations
United Nations
defines the use of children for military purposes as a war crime and a form of slavery. See Military use of children .

Although Hamas
Hamas
admits to sponsoring summer schools to train teenagers in handling weapons they condemn attacks by children. Following the deaths of three teenagers during a 2002 attack on Netzarim in central Gaza, Hamas
Hamas
banned attacks by children and "called on the teachers and religious leaders to spread the message of restraint among young boys". Hamas's use of child labor to build tunnels with which to attack Israel
Israel
has also been criticized, with at least 160 children killed in the tunnels as of 2012.

POLITICAL FREEDOMS

Hamas
Hamas
mural in the West Bank
West Bank

Human rights
Human rights
groups and Gazans have accused the Hamas
Hamas
government in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
of restricting freedom of the press and forcefully suppressing dissent. Both foreign and Palestinian journalists report harassment and other measures taken against them. In September 2007 the Gaza Interior Ministry disbanded the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
branch of the pro- Fatah
Fatah
Union of Palestinian Journalists, a move criticized by Reporters without borders
Reporters without borders
. In November of that year the Hamas government arrested a British journalist and for a time canceled all press cards in Gaza. On February 8, 2008, Hamas
Hamas
banned distribution of the pro- Fatah
Fatah
Al-Ayyam newspaper, and closed its offices in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
because it ran a caricature that mocked legislators loyal to Hamas,. The Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
Interior Ministry later issued an arrest warrant for the editor.

More widely, in late August 2007 the group was accused in _The Telegraph _, a conservative British newspaper, of torturing, detaining, and firing on unarmed protesters who had objected to policies of the Hamas
Hamas
government. Also in late August, Palestinian health officials reported that the Hamas
Hamas
government had been shutting down Gaza clinics in retaliation for doctor strikes – The Hamas government confirmed the "punitive measure against doctors" because, in its view, they had incited other doctors to suspend services and go out on strike. In September 2007 the Hamas
Hamas
government banned public prayers, after Fatah
Fatah
supporters began holding worship sessions that quickly escalated into raucous protests against Hamas
Hamas
rule. Government security forces beat several gathering supporters and journalists. In October 2008, the Hamas
Hamas
government announced it would release all political prisoners in custody in Gaza. Several hours after the announcement, 17 Fatah
Fatah
members were released.

On August 2, 2012, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) accused Hamas
Hamas
of harassing elected officials belong to the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate (PJS) in Gaza. The IFJ said that journalists' leaders in Gaza have faced a campaign of intimidation, as well as threats designed to force them to stop their union work. Some of these journalists are now facing charges of illegal activities and a travel ban, due to their refusal "to give in to pressure". The IFJ said that these accusations are "malicious" and "should be dropped immediately". The IFJ explained that the campaign against PJS members began in March 2012, after their election, and included a raid organized by Hamas supporters who took over the PJS offices in Gaza with the help of the security forces, and subsequently evicted the staff and elected officials. Other harassment includes the targeting of individuals who were bullied into stopping union work. The IFJ backed the PJS and called on Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to intervene to stop "his officials' unwarranted interference in journalists' affairs". In November 2012, two Gazan journalists were prevented from leaving Gaza by Hamas. There were scheduled to participate in a conference in Cairo, Egypt. After being questioned by security forces, their passports were confiscated. In 2016 Reporters Without Borders condemned Hamas
Hamas
for censorship and for torturing journalists. Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said "As living conditions in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
are disastrous, Hamas
Hamas
wants to silence critics and does not hesitate to torture a journalist in order to control media coverage in its territory."

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

In June 2011, the Independent Commission for Human Rights based in Ramallah published a report whose findings included that the Palestinians in the West Bank
West Bank
and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
were subjected in 2010 to an "almost systematic campaign" of human rights abuses by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, as well as by Israeli authorities, with the security forces belonging to the PA and Hamas
Hamas
being responsible for torture, arrests and arbitrary detentions.

In 2012, the Human Rights Watch presented a 43 page long list of human rights violation committed by Hamas. Among actions attributed to Hamas
Hamas
the HRW report mentions beatings with metal clubs and rubber hoses, hanging of alleged collaborationists with Israel, and torture of 102 individuals. According to the report, Hamas
Hamas
also tortured civil society activists and peaceful protesters. Reflecting on the captivity of Gilad Shalit , the HRW report described it as "cruel and inhuman". The report also slams Hamas
Hamas
for harassment of people based on so called morality offenses and for media censorship. In a public statement Joe Stork , the deputy Middle East director of HRW claimed, "after five years of Hamas
Hamas
rule in Gaza, its criminal justice system reeks of injustice, routinely violates detainees' rights and grants impunity to abusive security services." Hamas
Hamas
responded by denying charges and describing them as "politically motivated"

On May 26, 2015 Amnesty International released a report saying that Hamas
Hamas
carried out extrajudicial killings, abductions and arrests of Palestinians and used the Al- Shifa Hospital to detain, interrogate and torture suspects during the Israel–Gaza conflict in 2014. It details the executions of at least 23 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel
Israel
and torture of dozens of others, many victims of torture were members of the rival Palestinian movement, Fatah.

INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT

Hamas
Hamas
has always maintained leadership abroad. The movement is deliberately fragmented to ensure that Israel
Israel
cannot kill its top political and military leaders. Hamas
Hamas
used to be strongly allied with both Iran and Syria. Iran gave Hamas
Hamas
an estimated $13–15 million in 2011 as well as access to long-range missiles. Hamas’s political bureau was once located in the Syrian capital of Damascus
Damascus
before the start of the Syrian civil war. Relations between Hamas, Iran, and Syria
Syria
began to turn cold when Hamas
Hamas
refused to back the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad . Instead, Hamas
Hamas
backed the Sunni rebels fighting against Assad. As a result, Iran cut funding to Hamas, and their terror proxy Hezbollah
Hezbollah
ordered Hamas
Hamas
members out of Lebanon. Hamas
Hamas
was then forced out of Syria. Since then, Iran and Hezbollah have tried to mend fences with Hamas. Hamas
Hamas
contacted Jordan
Jordan
and Sudan to see if either would open up its borders to its political bureau. But both countries refused—though they welcomed many Hamas members leaving Syria. In 2012 Hamas
Hamas
headquarters subsequently moved to Doha, Qatar.

From 2012 to 2013, under the leadership of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi
Mohamed Morsi
, Hamas
Hamas
had the support of Egypt. However, when Morsi was removed from Office, his replacement Abdul Fattah al-Sisi outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood and destroyed the tunnels Hamas
Hamas
built into Egypt. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
are likewise hostile to Hamas. Like Egypt, they designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and Hamas
Hamas
was viewed as its Palestinian equivalent.

QATAR AND TURKEY

According to Middle East experts, now Hamas
Hamas
has two firm allies: Qatar
Qatar
and Turkey
Turkey
. Both give Hamas
Hamas
public and financial assistance estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Shashank Joshi, senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute , says that " Qatar
Qatar
also hosts Hamas's political bureau which includes Hamas
Hamas
leader Khaled Meshaal." Meshaal also visits Turkey
Turkey
frequently to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
. Erdogan has dedicated himself to breaking Hamas
Hamas
out of its political and economic seclusion. Last year on U.S. television Erdogan said, "I don't see Hamas
Hamas
as a terror organization. Hamas
Hamas
is a political party."

In 2007, Qatar
Qatar
was, with Turkey, the only country to back Hamas
Hamas
after the group ousted the Palestinian Authority out of the Gaza Strip. The relationship between Hamas
Hamas
and Qatar
Qatar
strengthened in 2008 and 2009 when Khaled Meshaal was invited to attend the Doha Summit where he was seated next to the then Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani , who pledged $250 million to repair the damage caused by the Israel
Israel
in the Israeli war on Gaza. These events caused Qatar
Qatar
to become the main player in the "Palestinian issue". Qatar
Qatar
called Gaza's blockade unjust and immoral, which prompted the Hamas
Hamas
government in Gaza, including former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, to thank Qatar
Qatar
for their "unconditional" support. Qatar
Qatar
then began regularly handing out political, material, humanitarian and charitable support for Hamas.

In 2012, Qatar's former Emir, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, became the first head of state to visit Gaza under Hamas
Hamas
rule. He pledged to raise $400 million for reconstruction. Some have argued that the money Qatar
Qatar
gives to reconstruct Palestine is an excuse to pour even more money into Hamas. Qatar’s reason for funding Hamas, which is shared by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is allegedly that Islamist groups are growing and will eventually play a role in the region; thus it is important for Qatar
Qatar
(and Turkey) to maintain ties. During the Arab Spring, for example, Qatar
Qatar
backed the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Islamist group whose offshoot is Hamas. Other sources say that advocating for Hamas
Hamas
is politically beneficial to Turkey
Turkey
and Qatar
Qatar
because the Palestinian cause draws popular support amongst their citizens at home.

Some began to label Qatar
Qatar
a terrorist haven in part because it is harboring Hamas
Hamas
leader Meshaal. They also harbor Husam Badran, former leader of Hamas's military wing in the northern West Bank. Husam Badran , current media spokesman for Hamas, was the instigator of several of the deadliest suicide bombings of the second intifada , including the Dolphinarium discotheque bombing in Tel Aviv, which killed 21 people. Turkey
Turkey
has also been criticized for housing terrorists including Saleh al-Arouri , the senior Hamas
Hamas
officer, known for his ability to mastermind attacks from abroad. Al-Arouri is alleged to have orchestrated the June 2014 abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers and to have started the 50-day war between Israel
Israel
and Palestine, and now lives in Turkey.

Speaking in reference to Qatar’s support for Hamas, during a 2015 visit to Palestine, Qatari official Mohammad al-Emadi, said Qatar
Qatar
is using the money not to help Hamas
Hamas
but rather the Palestinian people as a whole. He acknowledges however that giving to the Palestinian people means using Hamas
Hamas
as the local contact. Emadi said, "You have to support them. You don't like them, don't like them. But they control the country, you know." Some argue that Hamas’s relations with Qatar
Qatar
are putting Hamas
Hamas
in an awkward position because Qatar
Qatar
has become part of the regional Arab problem.

But Hamas
Hamas
claims that having contacts with various Arab countries establishes positive relations which will encourage Arab countries to do their duty toward the Palestinians and support their cause by influencing public opinion in the Arab world. In March 2015, Hamas has announced its support of the Saudi Arabian -led military intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh .

U.S.-BASED SUPPORT

Several U.S. organizations were either shut down or held liable for financing Hamas
Hamas
in early 2001, groups that have origins from the mid-1990s: the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), and Kind Hearts . The U.S. Treasury Department specially designated the HLF in 2001 for terror ties: "from 1995 to 2001 the HLF transferred "approximately $12.4 million outside of the United States
United States
with the intent to contribute funds, goods, and services to Hamas." According to the Treasury Department, Khaled Meshal identified one of HLF's officers, Mohammed El-Mezain as "the Hamas leader for the U.S." In 2003, IAP was found liable for financially supporting Hamas, and in 2006, Kind Hearts had their assets frozen for supporting Hamas. In 2016, it was reported that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel
Israel
includes a web of Hamas
Hamas
supporters from the Illinois-based organization American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).

SEE ALSO

* Book: Islamic terrorism * Book: Islamic terrorist groups

* Palestine portal * Terrorism portal * Islam
Islam
portal

* 25th anniversary of Hamas * Hamastan * Human rights
Human rights
in the Palestinian National Authority * List of Palestinian suicide attacks * List of political parties in the Palestinian National Authority

REFERENCES

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Jihad
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Oxford University Press
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Hamas
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Hamas
considers Palestine the main front of _jihad_ and viewed the uprising as an Islamic way of fighting the Occupation. The leaders of the organization argued that Islam
Islam
gave the Palestinian people the power to confront Israel
Israel
and described the Intifada as the return of the masses to Islam. Since its inception, Hamas
Hamas
has tried to reconcile nationalism and Islam. ... Hamas
Hamas
claims to speak as a nationalist movement but with an Islamic-nationalist rather than a secular nationalist agenda." * ^ Meir Litvak, "Religious and Nationalist Fanaticism: The Case of Hamas", in Matthew Hughes & Gaynor Johnson (eds.), _Fanaticism and Conflict in the Modern Age_, Frank Cass , London and New York, 2004, pp. 156–157: " Hamas
Hamas
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Hamas
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Hamas
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Hamas
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Hamas
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Israel
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Israelis
have mounted an assassination campaign against the senior leadership of Hamas
Hamas
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* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_

* Hamas
Hamas
_The New York Times_, June 18, 2010 "The pact did not succeed in restoring the flow of aid and did not last. Clashes between the two groups steadily escalated until gunmen loyal to Hamas
Hamas
took control of Gaza in June, ousting the remnants of Fatah." * Backgrounder: Hamas. Council of Foreign Relations. August 27, 2009, "In the summer of 2007, Hamas
Hamas
tensions with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a Fatah
Fatah
man, came to a head and Hamas
Hamas
routed Fatah
Fatah
supporters, killing many and sending others fleeing to the West Bank. The result was a de facto geographic division of Palestinian-held territory, with Hamas
Hamas
holding sway in Gaza and Fatah maintaining the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank
West Bank
town of Ramallah."

* ^ "Gaza may face economic disaster if blockade continues". _USA Today_. Associated Press. March 29, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2013. * ^ "Palestinian rivals Hamas
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in Transition:The Failure of Sanctions,' in Michelle Pace, Peter Seeberg (eds.), _The European Union\'s Democratization Agenda in the Mediterranean,_ Routledge, 2013 pp.50-79 p.64. * ^ Peter Mandaville,_ Islam
Islam
and Politics,_ Routledge, 2014 Rev.ed, p.282. * ^ _A_ _B_ Benedetta Berti, _Armed Political Organizations: From Conflict to Integration,_ JHU Press, 2013 p.88. * ^ Mohammed Ayoob, _Will the Middle East Implode?,_ John Wiley & Sons, 2014 p.47. * ^ Tristan Dunning,p.136. * ^ Levitt, pp.16-23. * ^ Phillips p.78 * ^ Lihi Ben Shitrit, _Righteous Transgressions: Women\'s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right,_ Princeton University Press , 2015 p.71. * ^ _A_ _B_ David L. Phillips,_From Bullets to Ballots: Violent Muslim Movements in Transition,_ Transaction Publishers , 2011 p.75. * ^ Davis,pp.47ff. * ^ Levitt, p.23:'In a 1995 lecture, Sheikh Jamil Hamami, a party to the foundation of Hamas
Hamas
and a senior member of its West Bank leadership, expounded the importance of Hamas' dawa infrastructure as the soil from which militancy would flower.' * ^ Levitt, pp.25-26. * ^ Mohsen Saleh, _The Palestinian Strategic Report 2006,_ Al Manhal, 2007 p.198. * ^ James J. F. Forrest, 'Conclusion', in James Dingley, _Combating Terrorism in Northern Ireland,_ Routledge, 2008 pp.280-300 p.290. * ^ Phillips p.81. * ^ Levitt, pp. 122–123. * ^ Davis, p.48. * ^ Davis, pp.48-49. * ^ Aoibhín de Búrca, _Preventing Political Violence Against Civilians: Nationalist Militant Conflict in Northern Ireland, Israel And Palestine,_ Palgrave Macmillan, 2014 pp.100-102. * ^ Mohammad Najib and Roland Friedrich 'Non-Statutory Armed Groups and Security Sector Governance,' in Roland Friedrich, Arnold Luethold (eds.),_Entry-points to Palestinian Security Sector Reform,_ DCAF , 2007 pp.101-127 p.103.This date is based on a Hamas
Hamas
operation that assassinated the rabbi of the Israeli settlement of Kfar Darom inside the Gaza Strip. * ^ Davis,pp.110-111. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Mathieu Guidère, _Historical Dictionary of Islamic Fundamentalism,_ Scarecrow Press , 2012 p.173. * ^ Najib p.103. * ^ Alincée Van Engeland,'Hamas,' in Jeffrey Ian Ross (ed.)_ Religion
Religion
and Violence: An Encyclopedia of Faith and Conflict from Antiquity to the Present,_ Routledge 2015 pp.319-323: p.319. * ^ Davis, p.111. * ^ Mohannad Sabry,_Sinai: Egypt\'s Linchpin, Gaza\'s Lifeline, Israel\'s Nightmare_, British Academic Press, 2015, p. 65. * ^ Najib p. 107 * ^ Sabry p. 67. * ^ Sabry, p.73. * ^ Jefferis,p.119. * ^ _A_ _B_ Najib p. 107. * ^ Shitrit, p.71. * ^ _A_ _B_ Najib p.106. * ^ Najib p.105. * ^ Najib pp. 105–106. * ^ _A_ _B_ Najib p.106 * ^ R.Kim Cragin,'Learning to Survive:The Case of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)', in James JF Forrest (ed.), _Teaching Terror: Strategic and Tactical Learning in the Terrorist World,_ Rowman & Littlefield , 2006 pp.189-204 p.196. * ^ Erlich Reese, Robert Baer , _Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence, and Empire,_ Routledge, 2016 p.28. * ^ Dunning, p.34. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Harry Raymond Hueston, Paul G. Pierpaoli Jr., Sherifa Zahar, 'Hamas' in Priscilla Roberts (ed.) _Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Essential Reference Guide,_ ABC-CLIO , 2014 pp.676-71 p.67. * ^ _A_ _B_ Jeroen Gunning, 'Hamas:Harakat al-Muqamama al-Islamiyya,' in Marianne Heiberg, Brendan O'Leary, John Tirman (eds.), _Terror, Insurgency, and the State: Ending Protracted Conflicts,_ University of Pennsylvania Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
, 2007 pp.123-155 p.134. * ^ Najib pp.107-108- * ^ Joyce Davis https://books.google.com/books?id=GxwbNesHJBkC&pg=PA100 _Martyrs: Innocence, Vengeance, and Despair in the Middle East,_ Palgrave Macmillan , 2004 p.100. * ^ _A_ _B_ Julie C.Herrick,'Non-State Actors: A Comparative Analysis of Change and Development Within Hamas
Hamas
and Hezbollah,' in Bahgat Korany (ed.), _The Changing Middle East: A New Look at Regional Dynamics,_ American University in Cairo Press, 2010 pp.167-195, p.179. * ^ Mandaville, p.282. * ^ Matthew Levitt,_Negotiating Under Fire: Preserving Peace Talks in the Face of Terror Attacks,_ Rowman & Littlefield 2008 pp.89f. * ^ John L.Esposito, _ Islam
Islam
and Violence,_ Syracuse University Press 1998 p.231. * ^ Ilana Kass 'Politically speaking, Islamic fundamentalists were sometimes regarded as useful to Israel
Israel
because they had their conflicts with the secular supporters of the PLO . . .the Israeli military governor of the Gaza Strip, Brigadier General Yitzhak Segev, once told me how he had financed the Islamic movement as a counterweight to the PLO and the Communists . . .In 1980, when fundamentalist protesters set fire to the office of the Red Crescent Society in Gaza, headed by Dr Haidar Abdel-Shafi, a Communist and PLO supporter, the Israeli army did nothing, intervening only when the mob marched to his home and seemed to threaten him personally'.p.35 * ^ Helena Lindholm Schulz _The Reconstruction of Palestinian Nationalism: Between Revolution and Statehood,_ Manchester University Press , 1999 p.76 * ^ _A_ _B_ Laura Neack, _The New Foreign Policy: Power Seeking in a Globalized Era,_ Rowman & Littlefield 2008 p.101. * ^ Amal Jamal,_The Palestinian National Movement: Politics of Contention, 1967-2005,_ Indiana University Press , 2005 p.197 n.21.Dates differ, between December 1987-January 1988, and August 1988 * ^ _The World Almanac of Islamism: 2014,_ American Foreign Policy Council / Rowman & Littlefield , 2014 ( Hamas
Hamas
pp.272-278). * ^ Joshua L. Gleis, Benedetta Berti, _ Hezbollah
Hezbollah
and Hamas: A Comparative Study,_ Johns Hopkins University Press , 2012 p.119:'In truth, the creation of Hamas
Hamas
as a separate entity from the Muslim Brotherhood was done precisely to prevent Israeli authorities from targeting the organizations' greater activities, in the hopes that it would leave them relatively immune. Moreover, Hamas
Hamas
was created essentially because the Islamicists connected to the Muslim Brotherhood feared that without their direct participation in the first Intifada, they would lose supporters to both the PIJ and the PLO, the latter of which was anxious to reassert itself in the Palestinian territories after being marginalized following its expulsion from Lebanon. As authors Mishal and Saela, explain, "The Mujamma's decision to adopt a 'jihad now' policy against 'enemies of Allah' (through the creation of Hamas) was thus largely a matter of survival.' * ^ " Hamas
Hamas
Prime Minister Ismail Haniya Reaffirms Hamas\' Commitment to Armed Resistance and Says: We Will Liberate Palestine in Its Entirety, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan
Jordan
River". _Memri TV_. Retrieved 22 July 2014. * ^ Ronni Shaked, 'Ethos of Conflict of the Palestinian Society,' in Keren Sharvit, Eran Halperin (eds.), _A Social Psychology Perspective on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Celebrating the Legacy of Daniel Bar-Tal,_ Springer, 2016 Volume 2 pp.133-149 p.142. * ^ According to Khaled Hroub ,_Hamas: A Beginner's Guide,_ Pluto Press 2006 p.33: 'The Charter was written in early 1988 by one individual and was made public without appropriate general Hamas consultation, revision or consensus, to the regret of Hamas's leaders in later years. The author of the Charter was one of the 'old guard' of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza Strip, completely cut off from the outside world. All kinds of confusions and conflations between Judaism and Zionism found their way into the Charter, to the disservice of Hamas
Hamas
ever since, as this document has managed to brand it with charges of 'anti-Semitism' and a naïve world-view' Hamas leaders and spokespeople have rarely referred to the Charter or quoted from it, evidence that it has come to be seen as a burden rather than an intellectual platform that embraces the movement's principles.' * ^ Khaled Hroub , 'A "New Hamas" through its new documents', Journal of Palestine Studies , vol. 35, No. 4, Summer 2006, Issue 140, pp. 6-28, p.6, cited Michael Schulz, ' Hamas
Hamas
Between Sharia
Sharia
Rule and Demo-Islam,' in Ashok Swain, Ramses Amer, Joakim Öjendal (eds.),_Globalization and Challenges to Building Peace,_ pp.195-2011:' Hamas
Hamas
continues to be characterized with reference to its 1988 charter drawn up less than a year after the movement was established in direct response to the outbreak of the third intifada and when its raison d'être was armed resistance to the occupation. Yet when its election and post-election documents are compared to the charter, it becomes clear that what is being promoted is a profondly different organization' * ^ 'The non- Zionist
Zionist
Jew is one who belongs to the Jewish culture, whether as a believer in the Jewish faith or simply by accident of birth, but . .(who) takes no part in aggressive actions against our land and our nation... Hamas
Hamas
will not adopt a hostile position in practice against anyone because of his ideas or his creed but will adopt such a position if those ideas and creed are translated into hostile or damaging actions against our people.' (1990) Khaled Hroub , p.34. * ^ Giandomenico Picco, Gabrielle Rifkind, _The Fog of Peace_, I.B.Tauris , 2014 pp.47-48 * ^ Gabriel Weimann,_Terror on the Internet: The New Arena, the New Challenges,_ US Institute of Peace Press , 2006 p.82. * ^ Jim Zanotti, _Hamas: Background and Issues for Congress,_ DIANE Publishing, 2011 p.15. * ^ Zanotti, p.15. * ^ Roberts p.68 :'The Charter condemns world Zionism and the efforts to isolate Palestine, defines the mission of the organization, and locates that mission within Palestinian, Arab and Islamic elements. It does not condemn the West or non-Muslims, but does condemn aggression against the Palestinian people, arguing for a defensive jihad. It also calls for fraternal relations with the other Palestinian nationalist groups'. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ " Hamas Covenant 1988: The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement". _The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy_. Yale Law School. August 18, 1988. Retrieved February 15, 2009. * ^ Shaul Mishal, Avraham Sela,_The Palestinian Hamas: vision, violence, and coexistence_ Columbia University Press, 2006 p.178. * ^ Mark A. Tessler _A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,_ Indiana University Press, 1994 pp.546,696 * ^ Peter Beinart , _The Crisis of Zionism,_ Melbourne University Press 2012 p.219 n.53. * ^ Ayala H. Emmett, _Our Sisters\' Promised Land: Women, Politics, and Israeli-Palestinian Coexistence,_ University of Michigan Press, 2003 pp.100-102. * ^ Glenn Frankel, _Beyond the Promised Land: Jews and Arabs on the Hard Road to a New Israel,_ Simon and Schuster , 1996 p.389-391, cites Binjamin Netanyahu as declaring:'You say the Bible is not a property deed. But I say the opposite-the Bible is our mandate, the Bible is our deed'. Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
at the time charged that "Bibi Netyanyahu is a Hamas
Hamas
collaborator . . Hamas
Hamas
and Likud have the same political goal.' * ^ David Whitten Smith, Elizabeth Geraldine Burr,_Understanding World Religions: A Road Map for Justice and Peace,_ Rowman & Littlefield , 2014 2nd.ed. pp.250-1 for a comparison of similarities regarding ownership of the land in the Likud and Hamas
Hamas
platforms. * ^ Louise Fawcett, _International Relations of the Middle East,_ Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
2013 p.49:'The Hamas
Hamas
platform calls for full Muslim-Palestinian control of the Mediterranean to the Jordan
Jordan
River – the mirror image of Likud’s platform for Jewish control of the same land.' * ^ Padraig O\'Malley _The Two-State Delusion: Israel
Israel
and Palestine--A Tale of Two Narratives,_ Penguin Books 2015 p. 26:’ Israel
Israel
incessantly invokes provisions of Hamas’s charter that call for the elimination of Jews and the destruction of Israel, and its refusal to recognize the state of Israel. . . Hamas
Hamas
also calls attention to the clauses in the Likud charter that explicitly denounce a two-state solution. A double standard, says Hamas.' * ^ Noam Chomsky , in Elliot N. Dorff, Danya Ruttenberg, Louis E Newman (eds.), _Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices: War and National Security,_ Jewish Publication Society , 2010 pp.26-7 * ^ Dunning, Tristan (20 November 2014), _Israel’s policy on statehood merits the same scrutiny as Hamas
Hamas
gets_ * ^ David Whitten, Smith, Elizabeth Geraldine Burr, _Understanding World Religions: A Road Map for Justice and Peace,_ Rowman & Littlefield, 2014 p.250 * ^ Peter Beinart , _The Crisis of Zionism,_ Melbourne University Press 2012 p.231:'If Israel
Israel
withdraws to the borders of 1967, it doesn't mean that it gives us back all the land of the Palestinians. But we do consider this as an acceptable solution to have a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967'. * ^ Dr. Lorenzo Kamel, \'Why do Palestinians in Gaza support Hamas?,\' Haaretz
Haaretz
5 August 2014 * ^ Davis, p.41 * ^ Matthew Duss, \'Remember Gaza?,' Tablet Magazine 8 May 2015. * ^ Davis, p.41. * ^ Wendy Pearlman, _Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement_, Cambridge University Press, 2011 p.137. * ^ Seth Ackerman (September–October 2006). "Nixed Signals". _Extra!_. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting . Retrieved March 18, 2012. * ^ Barak Ravid (August 14, 2008). "In 2006 letter to Bush, Haniyeh offered compromise with Israel". _Haaretz_. Retrieved March 18, 2012. * ^ Al Jazeera, " Hamas
Hamas
ready to accept 1967 borders". Apr 22, 2008. * ^ Amira Hass (November 9, 2008). " Hamas
Hamas
willing to accept Palestinian state with 1967 borders". _ Haaretz
Haaretz
_. Retrieved April 16, 2014. * ^ Yoav Segev (September 22, 2009). "Haniyeh to UN chief: Hamas accepts Palestinian state in \'67 borders". _Haaretz_. Retrieved February 25, 2012. * ^ " Hamas
Hamas
Vows to Honor Palestinian Referendum on Peace with Israel: Islamist Leader Ismail Haniyeh Says He Would Accept a Deal with Israel
Israel
Based on 1967 Borders and Denies that Gaza has Become a Stronghold for Al-Qaida". _Haaretz_. Reuters. December 1, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2012. * ^ Ilan Ben Zion (March 14, 2012). "The eye of the Islamic Jihad storm". _The Times of Israel_. Retrieved March 29, 2012. * ^ Marc Tracy (March 12, 2012). "Terrorist Killing Prompts Gaza Rocket Exchange". _Tablet Magazine_. Retrieved March 31, 2012. * ^ Israel
Israel
rejects Gaza ceasefire _The Guardian_ (UK), April 25, 2008 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Erlanger, Steven (April 1, 2008). "In Gaza, Hamas\'s Insults to Jews Complicate Peace". _The New York Times_. Retrieved August 2, 2011. * ^ " Nizar Rayyan of Hamas
Hamas
on God\'s Hatred of Jews", _The Atlantic _, (January 2, 2009). * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Hamas
Hamas
Fights Over Gaza\'s Islamist Identity _The New York Times_, September 5, 2009 * ^ Martyrdom, Not Suicide: The Legality of Hamas\' Bombings in the Mid-1990s in Modern Islamic Jurisprudence By M.A. Philipp Holtmann, p. 13

* ^ For suicide attacks, sources include:

* "To the outside world, Hamas
Hamas
is best-known—infamous—for its reliance on suicide bombers." (Palestinian territories:Inside Hamas, _PBS _ _Frontline: World _, May 9, 2006) * "... the militant organization, best known abroad for its attacks against Israeli civilians ..." (Musharbash, Yassin. "Could Victory be Undoing of Hamas", _ Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel
_, January 27, 2006) * "... it was best known in Israel
Israel
and abroad for the suicide attacks it used ..." ("After the Hamas
Hamas
earthquake", _ The Guardian
The Guardian
_, January 27, 2006).

* ^ _A_ _B_ _Martyrdom, Not Suicide: The Legality of Hamas\' Bombings in the Mid-1990s in Modern Islamic Jurisprudence_ By M. A. Philipp Holtmann, p. 16 * ^ "For Arabs in Israel, a house is not a home" by Edward Platt, _ New Statesman
New Statesman
_, August 30, 2010 * ^ _Inside Hamas: The Untold Story of Militants, Martyrs and Spies_ By Zaki Chehab, p. 115 * ^ Chronology for Palestinians in Israel
Israel
Archived August 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine . The UN Refugee Agency , 2004 * ^ _A_ _B_ _The Palestinian People: A History_ By Baruch Kimmerling & Joel S. Migdal, pp. 372–373 * ^ Karsh, Efraim . _Arafat's War: The Man and His Battle for Israeli Conquest_. New York: Grove Press, 2003. p. 216. * ^ Katz, Samuel. _The Hunt for the Engineer_. Lyons Press, 2002. ISBN 1-58574-749-1 , p. 256 * ^ _A_ _B_ " Jordan
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curbs Hamas", _The Guardian_, November 22, 1999 * ^ _A_ _B_ " Hamas
Hamas
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Hamas
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Israel
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Hamas
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The Guardian
(UK) _, April 7, 2011 'Diskin said that Israel
Israel
does not like the tahdiya—seeing it as a means whereby Hamas and other groups can regroup and re-arm—but also dislikes the current situation. The ISA, he said, believes that the best option now is a large-scale ground incursion into the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
that allows the IDF to take over the southern part of the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
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Fatah
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Israel
closes Gaza after rockets" BBC, June 25, 2008 * ^ "Gaza truce broken as Israeli raid kills six Hamas
Hamas
gunmen", _ The Guardian
The Guardian
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Israel
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Hamas
government and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. The Israeli army puts the number at 1,166." * ^ " Hamas
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