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Where is Hamas today, 32 years after it was founded

17 4 0
13.12.2019

Hamas released its first statement on 14 December 1987, just five days after the start of the first intifada. The intifada was triggered when an Israeli lorry driver ran over a number of Palestinian labourers east of Gaza city while they were returning home after a long working day in Israel, killing four and wounding 10 others.

Hamas is a Palestinian movement with an Islamic ideology that has dedicated itself to fighting the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Its spiritual founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was a quadriplegic, was assassinated by an Israeli helicopter on 22 March 2004. His assassination was directly supervised by the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

As soon as it was launched, Hamas ordered its members and supporters across the occupied territories to be extensively involved in the intifada. Hamas had deep roots among the Palestinians it made with two decades of organised charity work that included health and education services, as well as sports and cultural activities.

During that period, between 1967 and 1987, Hamas established a number of multi-branch social charities in Gaza and the West Bank that run schools. In addition, it established one major university in Gaza.

The PLO, which includes all the Palestinian factions except Hamas and Islamic Jihad, had been involved in secret peace talks with Israel dating back to 1972. According to what the current Fatah and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas has said, Israel thought about terminating Hamas in order to stop the first intifada. It arrested all Hamas leaders, including Yassin, but it found that Hamas had alternative formations that led the movement and kept popular resistance active.

READ: Canada’s latest UN stance fails to affirm commitment to Palestinians’ political rights

The Israeli occupation escalated its crackdown on popular resistance, pushing the Palestinians to escalate and use arms. Hamas established its military wing Al-Qassam Brigades, which started to target Palestinian collaborators and Israeli soldiers. With the Israeli escalation increasing, the Palestinian........

© Middle East Monitor