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Is Hamas Part of Israel or Palestine

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Hamas Person. Credit: Malaysiakini’s FB page

Hamas emerged in 1987 during the first Palestinian Intifada against Israel’s control of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. It grew out of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood as an alternative to the secular Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Hamas and the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Hamas rejects Israel’s right to exist and calls for an Islamic Palestinian state in all of historic Palestine, which includes modern-day Israel. Its founding charter advocates the destruction of Israel and promotes antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Hamas carried out suicide bombings and rocket attacks on Israel during the 1990s and 2000s. It has attacked Israel many times since taking control of Gaza in 2007. Hamas is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the United States, European Union, and others.

Hamas in the Palestinian Territories

Palestine flag. Credit: dale vince’s FB page

Hamas participated in the 2006 Palestinian elections and won a majority, replacing Fatah as the ruling party in Gaza after a brief civil war. It has governed Gaza as a de facto one-party government since 2007.

Hamas provides social services through its dawah network in Gaza. It draws support among Palestinians for its religious nationalism and reputation for less corruption than the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.

But Hamas has restricted political freedoms and governed oppressively in Gaza. It has fought repeatedly with Fatah, its main Palestinian rival, despite reconciliation agreements.

International Views on Hamas

Hamas’s deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians and its use of its own citizens as human shields had led most Western Countries to designate Hamas as a terrorist organisation. However, many Muslim-majority countries such as Iran, Turkey, and Qatar have provided enormous amounts of funding. In the case of Iran, there are reports that Hamas terrorists received training in Tehran throughout the course of the last year.  

Most Western countries view Hamas solely as a terrorist organization due to its targeting of Israeli civilians. However, some states like Iran, Qatar, and Turkey see it as a legitimate resistance movement.

Hamas retains popular support among Palestinians as their lead resistance faction against Israel. But its governance record in Gaza has been mixed. Hamas remains entrenched in the Israel-Palestine conflict with no clear path to reaching its goals.

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