What is the Hamas and why are they at war with Israel?

Spread the Word
Hamas Military group. /Courtesy

Jerusalem – Hamas is a short form of Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-Islāmiyyah, which in English means Islamic Resistance Movement. It is a Palestinian Islamist political organization.

The group occupies parts of West Bank and Gaza Strip and has a political and military wing with their sole purpose being, to occupy the present day Israel.

When was it formed?

Hamas was formed from the Palestinians uprisings in the grass-roots against Israel invasion and occupation of Gaza strip and West Bank in what is known as Intifada, Arabic for “Shaking Off.”

The group was formed by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in the Gaza Strip and sources say this formation drew inspiration from Egypt’s Muslim brotherhood.

In its 1988 charter, the Hamas stated that Palestine is an Islamic homeland that can never be surrendered to non-Muslims. They claimed that waging war against Israel wanting to control Israel is a religious duty for Palestinian Muslims.

The first Intifada took place between 1987 to 1993 while the second one is reported to have began in the year 2000.

In the first instance, Israel and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) – a group led by Yasser Arafat – signed the Declaration of Principles on Palestinian Self-Rule, in what came to be generally referred to as the Oslo Records.

The first talks took place in Oslo, USA and the second talks took place in Cairo, Egypt. The Egypt talks were to affirm the Oslo treaty.

Some evidence however points at Israel supporting Hamas in its formative stages to undermine Arafat.

What does Hamas want?

Since it’s inception in 1987, Hamas has been against what they call Israel control and invasion of their territory. This includes present day Israel which they still refer to as Palestine.

In 1967, Israel took control of the West Bank. This is a huge chunk of land East of Israel occupied by nearly 300 million Palestinians. Since then, Israel has allowed Jewish settlers to move in. Jews believe the West Bank to be the heartland of their ancient state and evidently has many Jewish holy sites.

But the Hamas believe themselves to be guardians of Palestinians and have been engaging the Israeli’s in war, with each side blaming the other.

What is the cause of the new attacks?

There have been tensions in Jerusalem from the onset of Ramadan and these erupted after Israel launched an attack on Muslims that were leading their Ramadhan prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque. The mosque is the thirds holiest site in Islam after Macca and Medina.

This was ahead of Monday May 12 Israel’s commemoration of their capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war.

A court hearing in a case that could see Palestinian families evicted from their homes in East Jerusalem, an area claimed by Jewish settlers, is also said to be at the center of the fresh attacks.


Send TIPS/Opinion to  news@payuka.co.ke You can also find us on Facebook

Leave a Reply