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Student Village Academy Forums HISTORY THE ORIGIN OF HAMAS


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      Hamas, an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyah which means “Islamic militant movement” and one of the Palestinian territories’ two major political parties, was founded by Palestinian imam and Sheikh Ahmad Yassin a Palestinian cleric who became an activist in local branches of Muslim brotherhood after dedicating his early life to Muslim scholarship in Cairo.

      Yassin preached and performed charitable work in the West Bank and Gaza both of which are real occupied.






      Hamas was formed in late 1987 by Yassin as the Brotherhood’s political arm in Gaza, following the outbreak of the first intifada which is a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

      At the time Hamas’s purpose was to counter Palestinian Islamic jIhad (PIJ), another organization whose commitment is to violently resist Israel, which threatened to draw Palestinian support away from the brotherhood.





      Hamas has a military wing known as the izz Al -Din Al -Qassam brigades that have conducted many anti-isreal attacks in both Israel and the Palestinian territories since the 1990s. These attacks have included large-scale bombings against Israeli civilian targets, small arms attacks, improvised roadside explosives, and rocket attacks.


      In its 1988 charter, Hamas maintained that Palestine is an Islamic homeland that can never be surrendered to non-Muslims and that waging holy war to wrest control of Palestine from Israel is a religious duty for Palestinian Muslims. This position brought it into conflict with the PLO, which in 1988 recognized Israel’s right to exist.


      Hamas soon began to act independently of other Palestinian organizations, generating animosity between the group and its secular nationalist counterparts. Increasingly violent Hamas attacks on civilian and military targets impelled Israel to arrest a number of Hamas leaders in 1989, including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement’s founder.

      In the 2006 elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council, Hamas won a surprise victory over Fatah, capturing the majority of seats. The two groups eventually formed a coalition government, with Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas as prime minister.



      Clashes between Hamas and Fatah forces in the Gaza Strip intensified, however, prompting Abbas to dissolve the Hamas-led government and declare a state of emergency in June 2007. Hamas was left in control of the Gaza Strip, while a Fatah-led emergency cabinet had control of the West Bank.

      Hamas continues to recognise violent resistance against Israel and in early 2008 conducted a suicide bombing, killing one civilian, a mortar attack that injured civilians and as well as numerous rockets.


      Hamas in June 2008 entered into a six-month agreement with Israel that significantly reduced rocket attacks which stormed a major Israeli military in December 2008. Israel declared a unilateral cease-fire on 18 January 2009 after destroying much of Hamas’ infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.


      In April 2011 Hamas and Fatah officials announced that the two sides had reached a reconciliation agreement in negotiations mediated by Egypt. The agreement, signed in Cairo on May 4, called for forming an interim government to organize legislative and presidential elections. After months of negotiations over the leadership of the interim government, the two parties announced in February 2012 that they had selected Abbas for the post of interim president.

      Hamas’s relations with the governments of Syria and Iran, two of its primary sources of support, were strained in 2011 when Meshaal and other Hamas figures in Damascus conspicuously avoided expressing support for a crackdown by Syrian armed forces against anti-government protesters inside the country. In early 2012 Hamas leaders left Syria for Egypt and Qatar and Meshaal then publicly declared Hamas’s support for the Syrian opposition. Iranian support for Hamas, which by some estimates had exceeded $200 million a year, was greatly reduced.

      The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, still struggling following the cutoff of Iranian aid, was placed under even greater financial strain in 2013 when the administration of Egyptian Pres. Mohammed Morsi a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was overthrown and replaced by a military-led interim government hostile to Hamas.



      The new administration heavily restricted crossings at the border between Gaza and Egypt and shut down most of the smuggling tunnels that had been a major source of tax revenue for Hamas as well as a primary means of supplying a wide variety of goods to the Gaza Strip. By late 2013 Hamas was struggling to pay the wages of public sector employees in the Gaza Strip.

      In April 2014 Hamas effectively renounced its governing role in the Gaza Strip by agreeing with Fatah to the formation of a new PA cabinet composed entirely of nonpartisan ministers. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the new agreement, accusing Fatah of seeking reconciliation with Hamas at the expense of a possible peace agreement with Israel.

      The new cabinet was sworn in on June 2 but was left unable to carry out the administration of the Gaza Strip. Hamas continued to administer the area, even forming an interim administrative committee in 2017. Later that year the PA began to take over, but, as it was unable to take full control, it cut its funding for the Gaza Strip in 2018 and imposed sanctions. Hamas sought to alleviate the blow through taxation, but the move to tax the already poverty-stricken population was unpopular and led to frequent protests.



      Funding from Qatar and the easing of some blockade restrictions by Israel brought some relief to the Gaza Strip.

      Meanwhile, leadership changes in Hamas offered an opportunity for rapprochement with Iran. Yahya Sinwar, a senior figure within the group’s armed wing who in 2017 became leader of the group locally in the Gaza Strip, had been a proponent of maintaining relations with Iran. Haniyeh, who replaced Meshaal as head of the political bureau that same year, repaired diplomatic relations and began making notable appearances in Iran, including at the funeral of Qassam Suliman in 2020 and the inauguration of Iran’s Pres. Ibrahim Raisi in 2021.






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