What Hamas is, how it came into being and why they are credited with ties to Iran and russia
The militants of the Palestinian group Hamas have launched a brutal war against Israel and have been recognized as terrorists by the EU. Learn more about who was behind the group's creation and what their goal is
The Hamas group, which carried out one of the largest attacks on Israel, existed long before its attack. However, Palestinian militants have long characterized Israel as their worst enemy.
The attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, was striking in its scale and audacity, for which the Israeli military was objectively unprepared. Over 4 days of fighting on both sides of the conflict, more than 1,600 people were killed, including children, women, and pensioners.
We are going to tell you how Hamas appeared, how it organized the next Arab-Israeli conflict, what is known about it, and why it is connected to terrorist countries such as Iran and russia.
When did Hamas appear?
Hamas was founded in 1987 in the Gaza Strip as a response to Israel's occupation of the territories that used to belong to Palestine during the Six Day War.
The group, created by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (a Palestinian cleric), became an alternative to the existing Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). It grew out of the Islamic Resistance movement.
The name Hamas itself is an abbreviation of the Arabic name of the organization: "Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya" ("Islamic Resistance Movement").
From the very beginning, Ahmed Yassin and the organization were exclusively engaged in teaching and charitable activities. At the same time, at the very beginning of its existence, Hamas set the main goal of liberating the Palestinian territories, not through fighting, but through the Islamization of the population, which would be supportive of its idea.
When did Hamas embark on the path to war with Israel?
In 1988, the Palestinian group published its first charter, which called for the destruction of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state on the territory of "historical Palestine."
After this charter, relations between the Palestinian organization and the outside world became more complicated.
Almost 30 years later, Hamas presented a new document in which it temporarily agreed to establish its state within the borders established before the Six Day War, but still refused to recognize Israel as a sovereign state with which it could have diplomatic relations.
As you know, the main territory where Palestinians live is the enclave of Gaza and the West Bank. It has its own laws and its own government. So, Hamas came to power in Gaza after a short-term conflict against the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah). After the armed conflict, Hamas took full political control of the Gaza Strip, while Fatah still dominates the West Bank.
Hamas is currently recognized as a terrorist organization in a number of countries, including the United States, the EU, and the United Kingdom.
Why are Hamas militants considered terrorists and who finances them?
The bottom line is that after appearing on the political scene and intensifying its confrontation with Israel, the Hamas group chose to fight in the form of terrorist attacks, most often carried out by "shahids" - suicide bombers.
The militants have repeatedly blown themselves up in public places, killing dozens of Israelis.
Because Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization in a number of countries, it cannot count on official assistance. However, the group has acquired other sponsors who, in fact, share terrorist ideas.
Back in the 1990s, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) financed, trained, and armed Hamas militants. Funding and cooperation were interrupted for five years from 2012 to 2017, when Hamas refused to support President Bashar al-Assad's regime in the Syrian civil war.
Already in 2020, the United States stated that Iran provides Hamas with more than $100 million annually.
According to Western media, it was the IRGC that gave the green light to the militants to attack Israel on October 7. At the same time, Israel said that meetings were held in Syria and Lebanon with other leaders of terrorist groups surrounding Israel, so it is easy to guess who coordinated their actions.
At the same time, much has been said about russia's relations with Hamas. This group is not included in the russian federation's list of terrorist organizations, and representatives of the militants regularly visit Moscow to meet with the leadership of the aggressor country.
Hamas is known to have supported russia in its war against Ukraine. Representatives of the group stated that they support russia's efforts "to create a multipolar world."
And in a recent statement, the Israeli Ambassador to russia emphasized that without Moscow's support, the Palestinian militant group would not have launched an attack on Israeli territory.
We remind you! Israel has announced that the country has entered a state of war. At least 1000 citizens have already been killed in Israel, including foreigners, including Ukrainians. Why the confrontation between Israel and Palestine has been going on for so many years and why Hamas was able to take the Israelis by surprise, we tell you here.
Photo: Majdi Fathi/Global Look Press
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