International Fellowship of Christians and Jews


Hamas was born along with the First Intifada. The word “Hamas,” which is an acronym for the Arabic phrase “Islamic Resistance Movement,” means enthusiasm or zeal, and correctly describes the attitude with which its members carry out its main mission—namely, the destruction of Israel.

Hamas began as an offshoot of the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood, and was created in 1987, during the First Intifada, the Palestinian uprising against the Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The founding sheikh was Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. In 1992, Hamas’ military branch was founded, named Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, named after a Palestinian nationalist. Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas bomb-maker known as the “Engineer” who was killed by the Shin Bet in 1996 has also taken on venerated status in Hamas lore, and members often refer to themselves as “Students of Ayyash.”

Hamas’ fundamental beliefs are simple. They believe in the absolute authority of Islam in all aspects of life, and that resisting the “enemy” (i.e. Israel) is a religious duty required of all Muslims. Hamas’ charter states that their goal is to “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.” Hamas does not recognize Israel, and believes that all of Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, rightfully belongs to the Palestinian people. While Hamas has offered that it will “settle” for the West Bank and Gaza in exchange for peace with Israel, many Israelis are skeptical that any true peace can be achieved with Hamas. In fact, Hamas never talks of “peace,” but only of a “hudna”—a temporary truce—leading many in Israel to believe that should their government accept such an offer, it would only be a matter of time before Hamas set out to realize its original goal and occupy all of Israel.

Hamas believes, based on religious writings, that the land of Israel belongs to them, and as the rightful occupiers, they are legitimate in their attacks on the Israeli “occupiers.” They believe the land is non-negotiable, and Hamas’ charter calls loudly and clearly for the destruction of the Israeli state and an establishment of an Islamist government in its place. Hamas has claimed over and over that there can be no peaceful negotiations with Israel, only jihad (“holy war”). Hamas has said that their beliefs are not anti-Semitic, just anti-Zionist, but a number of their statements, such as denial of the Holocaust, smacks of the contrary.

Hamas pioneered the use of suicide bombings; the first one took place in April, 1993, when two Israeli buses were attacked in front of a coffee shop. As many as 500 people may have been killed by Hamas’ suicide bombings over the years, including those killed in the devastating 2002 Passover attacks. Hamas’ arsenal also includes rocket fire, small-arms fire, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), in addition to kidnapping soldiers. Hamas is responsible for the capture and holding of now-famous Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, which occurred in 2006; Shalit’s family is still awaiting his return home. Hamas has also been accused of militarizing Palestinian children, including establishing special training camps for the purposes of indoctrination of children as young as kindergarten age.

Hamas receives its funding largely from Saudi Arabia and Iran, with other monies coming in from Muslim charities around the world. A 2003 US intelligence report estimated that Hamas had an annual budget of $50 million. A charitable foundation in the United States, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, was accused of funding Hamas, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the US; five leaders of the foundation were convicted.

Within Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas enjoys a high level of popularity. Since its formation, Hamas has not only focused on terrorist activities, but has simultaneously worked on improving the lives of the Palestinian citizens. Hamas runs or funds many social welfare activities, such soup kitchens, education programs, healthcare clinics, orphanages, and sports leagues. While their actions undoubtedly help the Palestinians, many also view the humanitarian activities as propaganda and an opportunity for recruitment. The same money funds both the social welfare arm and the terrorism arm.

The wealth of services offered to the residents is one reason for Hamas’ overwhelming victory in the 2006 elections. Hamas, a religious movement, began to break with the PLO/Fatah movement, the latter of which became more moderate, even recognizing Israel’s right to exist. After Hamas won 76 of the 132 parliamentary seats in the elections, the rivalry and tensions between Hamas and Fatah grew, until they erupted in violence. A civil war broke out, and Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, ousting any Fatah leaders. Hamas’ rule in Gaza was devastating for Israeli towns along its border, and the increase in shootings and rocket attacks eventually led to the Israeli military operation Cast Lead, in December 2008.

What do you think?

  • New Converetd Muslim
    April 6, 2013
    4:25 am

    I am now near to Islam. USA and UK are converting in Islam..stop them to convert to Islam..they are converting themselves. I am now Islamic from USA

    Reply to this comment »
  • Eric
    March 31, 2013
    10:29 pm

    but that does not mean all religions go the same way to heaven or paradise actually all religions, governments, nations, tribes, languages, celebrities, idols, and all who have sinned will be sent to the netherworld unless you trust in jesus christ or some other messenger you will be sent to the netherworld, also follow some basic moral code, and help anyone who needs your help or guidance you will be cast into outer darkness

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  • Eric
    March 31, 2013
    10:24 pm

    well in a message by one of my non christian , muslim, jew, or other religious groups even science confirms a couple of end time scenerios that match the religous groups own beliefs, doctrines, tradditions, and other things.

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  • eric
    March 31, 2013
    10:22 pm

    in some muslim terrorist groups some people claim they want israel wiped out of the map and bring their christ like figure the mahdi to return to the earth and bring an age of peace and justice until god judges the world.

    Reply to this comment »
  • shubhra
    March 12, 2013
    6:55 am

    no one better than indians understand ur problems

    Reply to this comment »
  • shubhra
    March 12, 2013
    6:54 am

    we share oursympathies with israel

    Reply to this comment »
  • Ravi
    January 18, 2012
    9:00 am

    Islam is a violent religion. Who knows this better than the Hindus of India? India has been attacked by muslims since Islam was founded. The Hindus have been forcibly converted to Islam since past 1000 years. The living space for the Hindus shrank steadily since the rise of Islam. Hinduism was a peaceful and non-violent religion which the Islamist took over in the past history when there was no away the world could have seen the strocities of Mulims on Hindus. In today’s globalised world, everything is visible. Muslims have a basic doctrine of violence ingrained in their religion. Their religion gives them a mission of converting non-muslims to muslims. This makes it the most dangerous religion on the planet which knows no one else’s existence than them

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    • Betty
      December 20, 2012
      10:11 pm

      hamas is child’s worse nightmare. we must do what ever it takes. stand for Isreal

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  • Tim
    December 18, 2011
    11:30 am

    For the sake of the 1.5 million people living in Gaza, who suffer from extreme poverty and unemployment, Hamas is going to have to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Doing so will open up Gaza to economic opportunity and business ventures. A two-state solution has been proposed, let it be put into effect. Israel is there to stay, the Palestinians are there to stay, let a productive future be created for both to live there together!

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  • dolly
    June 2, 2011
    11:55 am

    The Hamas, the Abu Sayaf, the Al Queda – why do these Islamic people love to terrorize the world? Are they so desperately challenged to devour even a tiny nation of God? Why could they not humble themselves and at least share that which a neighboring state has already been given the right to possess it? Does being selfish and war-freak make one go to heaven? Remember, Genesis 12:3, The Lord said to Abram, “I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse those who curse you…” “And I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand,” John 10:28

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  • devorah
    October 7, 2010
    4:33 pm

    We cannot negoziate with Hamas or anyone who wants to take over Israel. Their plan is clear, Israel will have to fight if need to be, to keep them away. I know YHWH is soon going to arise as a mighty warrior and fight for His Land. Israel is His land, and no one can give any away. Israel Has been gifted with the land of Israel via the covenant with Abraham, and His descendents. How can we listen to the enemy? We cannot listen to them for they are liars. We must submit to YHWH ONLY.

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    • steve
      March 30, 2011
      7:59 pm

      deb, you are totally corect and keep it up, may god the father of jesus keep you and make his face and light to shine on you.

      Reply to this comment »

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