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Understanding the History and Origins of Hamas: A Comprehensive Overview

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Hamas, an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (Islamic Resistance Movement), is a Palestinian political and military organization that was founded in 1987. It emerged as a response to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and has since played a significant role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The roots of Hamas can be traced back to the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational Islamic movement founded in Egypt in 1928. The Muslim Brotherhood's ideology and principles heavily influenced the formation and development of Hamas. Hamas shares the Muslim Brotherhood's commitment to Islamic governance and resistance against perceived oppressors.

The First Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, served as a catalyst for the establishment of Hamas. During this period, Hamas gained popularity by providing social services, such as education, healthcare, and welfare, to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. These efforts helped Hamas build a strong support base among the Palestinian population.

Hamas's charter, known as the Covenant, was adopted in 1988 and outlines the organization's goals and strategies. It emphasizes the liberation of Palestine from Israeli control and the establishment of an Islamic state in the area. The Covenant also includes anti-Semitic rhetoric, which has drawn criticism from many quarters.

Hamas's tactics have evolved over time. Initially, the organization focused on armed resistance, carrying out suicide bombings and other attacks against Israeli targets. However, in recent years, Hamas has also engaged in political activities, participating in elections and governing the Gaza Strip.

It is important to note that views on Hamas vary widely. Supporters argue that the organization represents the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians for self-determination and resistance against occupation. Critics, on the other hand, accuse Hamas of terrorism and undermining the peace process.

References:

  1. Abu-Amr, Z. (1993). Hamas: A Historical and Political Background. Journal of Palestine Studies, 22(4), 5-19.
  2. Roy, S. (2010). Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza: Engaging the Islamist Social Sector. Princeton University Press.
  3. Ruiz, J. (2009). Hamas and Its Position in the Palestinian Political Arena. Mediterranean Politics, 14(3), 345-361.

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