Hamas (Arabic حماس, full name – Arab. حركة المقاومة الإسلامية, The Islamic Resistance Movement) ruling the Gaza Strip (since 2007) is the Palestinian Islamist movement and political party.
Hamas is a terrorist organization recognized as such by the European Union, Israel, Canada, the USA, and Japan, and is banned in Jordan. In Australia and the U.K. only the military wing of Hamas recognize as terrorist.
The name “Hamas” should be translated as an abbreviation of the full Arabic name “Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah” (Islamic Resistance Movement) – Arab. حركة المقاومة الاسلامية. The word «حماس» in Arabic means “zeal, enthusiasm, passion.”
The movement was founded on 14 or 15 December 1987, shortly after the beginning of the First Palestinian Intifada based on the offices of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Organization and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, the recognized terrorist organizations in several countries.
The spiritual leader of the movement was Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, confined to a wheelchair from his child childhood.
Initially, the movement was seen as a rival to Israel Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leading by Yasser Arafat. Charitable and religious activities of the future Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin, the founder of an Islamic charity organization in the occupied by Israel territories in 1967.
“Mudzhama al-Islamiya” (founded in 1978), were encouraged by the Israeli military authorities. This organization, which became the forerunner of Hamas, received funding from Israel, and Israel has allowed it to receive donations from Arab countries in the Persian Gulf. Organization has founded a network of schools, hospitals, kindergartens, and the Islamic University in Gaza. At the same time, the activities of the left secular PLO then using terrorist methods against Israel and the Jews were brutally suppressed. Even in those days the Islamists and supporters of the PLO in the territories often clashed, in which Israel does not interfere. As a result, in the occupied territories, the radical Islamic sentiments that earlier have not been popular in the community (where left-nationalist views had dominated) have increased dramatically, and Hamas has gained popularity.
Part of the Hamas popularity among Palestinians was due to establishment of the system of social services in the Palestinian territories. A part of the Hamas Units act openly through mosques and social service institutions, recruiting new members, raising funds, organizing, and distributing propaganda.
Hamas has been active among the Palestinian population and abroad. For example, in early 2006, the Hamas for children appeared on the Web (http://www.al-fateh.net), which is famed for adolescents martyrs (suicide bombers), and contains the calling for children to “stand in the way of martyr.
In the world, however, Hamas is more known for its military wing. Since the beginning of the Second Intifada, Hamas militants organized hundreds of attacks, many of which have been prevented.
Terrorist attacks included mostly suicide bombings in crowd places, as well as roads and firing Israeli towns from mortars, small arms, and Qassam rockets.
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