What is Hamas?
Hamas is a Palestinian militant group and political organization founded in 1987. Its roots trace back to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization established in Egypt in 1928. Hamas stands for Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah, which translates to the Islamic Resistance Movement.
What is the group's ideology?
Hamas initially had an Islamist vision, emphasizing the need for a pious Islamic society. Its 1988 charter included anti-Semitic remarks and called for the liberation of all of Palestine "from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea" through jihad.
However, in 2017, it adopted a new charter that removed the anti-Semitic remarks and signaled a willingness for a lasting ceasefire if Israel returned to the 1967 borders.
How did Hamas rise to prominence?
Hamas gained prominence after the first intifada in 1987, a mass uprising against Israeli occupation. Unlike the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which had a secular nationalist focus, Hamas had a religious orientation.
It gained further popularity and political power after winning the majority of seats in the 2006 legislative elections in the Palestinian territories.
What are Hamas's tactics?
Hamas has employed various tactics, including suicide bombings, rocket attacks, and abductions. It has targeted both Israeli military and civilian populations.
Despite facing targeted assassinations of its leaders and being labeled a terrorist organization, Hamas has remained resilient.
What is the group's current status?
Hamas currently governs the Gaza Strip after ousting the Fatah party in 2007. It has shown signs of moderation in its political stance but continues to engage in armed resistance against Israel.
The group has survived numerous Israeli offensives and remains a significant player in the Palestinian political landscape.
How does Hamas impact the Israel-Palestine conflict?
Hamas's existence and actions have significant implications for any peace process between Israel and Palestine.
While it has shown some willingness to negotiate, its armed resistance and refusal to recognize Israel make it a complex factor in reaching a solution to the Israel-Palestine issue.
What was the 'al-Aqsa Flood' operation?
In October 2023, Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, termed the 'al-Aqsa Flood' operation. The attack resulted in significant casualties and has led to a renewed focus on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Can a solution to the Israel-Palestine problem be reached without considering Hamas?
Given Hamas's significant role in Palestinian politics and its control over the Gaza Strip, it is unlikely that a comprehensive solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict can be reached without taking the group into account.