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Hamas (Arabic: حماس Ḥamās, an acronym of حركة المقاومة الاسلامية Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah [Islamic Resistance Movement]) is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist[c] but pragmatic,[d] militant,[16] and nationalist organization.[e] It has a social service wing, Dawah, and a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.Hamas (Arabic: حماس Ḥamās, an acronym of حركة المقاومة الاسلامية Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah [Islamic Resistance Movement]) is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist[c] but pragmatic,[d] militant,[16] and nationalist organization.[e] It has a social service wing, Dawah, and a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.[f][g] It won the 2006 Palestinian legislative election[20] and became the de facto governing authority of the Gaza Strip following the 2007 Battle of Gaza.[21][22] Israel and Hamas have since engaged in several wars of varying intensity.[23] Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan and the United States classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. It is not considered a terrorist organization by Brazil, China, Egypt, Iran, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Syria and Turkey. Australia, New Zealand, Paraguay and the United Kingdom classify only its military wing as a terrorist organization. In December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly rejected a U.S. resolution condemning Hamas as a terrorist organization.[h]

Hamas was founded in 1987,[i] soon after the First Intifada broke out, as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood[26] which in its Gaza branch had previously been nonconfrontational toward Israel and hostile to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).[27] Co-founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin said in 1987, and the Hamas Charter affirmed in 1988, that Hamas was founded to liberate Palestine, including modern-day Israel, from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.[28] Since 1994,[29] the group has frequently stated that it would accept a truce[j] if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders paid reparations, allowed free elections in the territories,[31] and the right of return of Palestinian refugees.[k]

Hamas's military wing has launched attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers, often describing them as retaliatory, in particular for assassinations of the upper echelon of their leadership.[33] Tactics have included suicide bombings and, since 2001, rocket attacks[34] [35] Hamas's rocket arsenal, though mainly consisting of short-range homemade Qassam rockets with a range of 16 km,[36][l] also includes Grad-type rockets (21 km by 2009) and longer-range (40 km) if unreliably aimed rockets that have reached major Israeli towns such as Beer Sheva and Ashdod,[36] and some that have struck cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa.[38] Human Rights Watch has condemned as war crimes and crimes against humanity both Hamas and Israel for attacks on civilians during the conflict, stating that the rationale of reprisals is never valid when civilians are targeted.[m]

In the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections, Hamas won a majority in the Palestinian Parliament,[39] defeating the PLO-affiliated Fatah party. After the elections, the Quartet (the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States) made future foreign assistance to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) conditional upon the PNA's commitment to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements. Hamas rejected those conditions, which led the Quartet to suspend its foreign assistance program and Israel to impose economic sanctions on the Hamas-led administration.[40][41] In March 2007, a national unity government headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas was briefly formed, but this failed to restart international financial assistance.[42] Tensions over control of Palestinian security forces soon erupted in the 2007 Battle of Gaza,[42] after which Hamas took control of Gaza, while its officials were ousted from government positions in the West Bank.[42] Israel and Egypt then imposed an economic blockade of the Gaza Strip on the grounds that Fatah forces were no longer providing security there.[43]

Al-Fateh ("the conqueror") is the Hamas children's magazine, published biweekly in Lond

Al-Fateh ("the conqueror") is the Hamas children's magazine, published biweekly in London, and also posted in an online website. It began publication in September 2002, and its 108th issue was released in mid-September 2007. The magazine features stories, poems, riddles, and puzzles, and states it is for "the young builders of the future".[301]

According to MEMRI (three of whose seven founding staff had formerly served in the IDF), the magazine includes incitement to jihad and martyrdom and glorification of terrorist operations and of their planners and perpe

According to MEMRI (three of whose seven founding staff had formerly served in the IDF), the magazine includes incitement to jihad and martyrdom and glorification of terrorist operations and of their planners and perpetrators. as well as characterizations of Jews as "murderers of the prophets" and laudatory descriptions of parents who encourage their sons to kill Jews. In each issue, a regular feature titled "The Story of a Martyr" presents the "heroic deeds" of a mujahid from one of the organizations who died in a suicide operation, including operations against civilians, or who was killed by the IDF. MEMRI also noted that the magazine includes illustrations of figures, including child warriors, who embody the ethos of jihad and martyrdom, presenting them as role models. These include the magazine's titular character, Al-Fateh ("The Conqueror") – a small boy on a horse brandishing a drawn scimitar – as well as children carrying guns, and photos of Hamas fighters launching Qassam rockets.[302][303]

The foundational document of Hamas, the Hamas Charter (mīthāq ḥarakat), was, according to Khaled Hroub written by a single individual and made public without going through the usual prior consultation process. [aa] It was then signed on August 18, 1988. It contains both antisemitic passages and characterizations of Israeli society as Nazi-like in its cruelty,[305] and irredentist claims.[306][307][308] It declares all of Palestine a waqf, an unalienable religious property consisting of land endowed to Muslims in perpetuity by God,[309][ab] [311] with religious coexistence under Islam's rule.[312] The charter rejects a two-state solution, stating that the conflict cannot be resolved "except through jihad".[313][314]

Article 6 states that the movement's aim is to "raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are co

Article 6 states that the movement's aim is to "raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned".[315][316] It adds that, "when our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, jihad becomes a duty binding on all Muslims",[317] for which the whole of the land is non-negotiable, a position likened, without the racist sentiments present in the Hamas charter, to that in the Likud party platform and in movements like Gush Emunim. For Hamas, to concede territory is seen as equivalent to renouncing Islam itself.[318][319][320][321][322][323][324][325]

Decades down the line, Hamas's official position changed with regard to a two-state solution. Khaled Mashaal, its leader, has publicly affirmed the movement's readiness to accept such a division.[326][327] When Hamas won a majority in the 2006 Palestinian legislative election, Haniyeh, then president-elect, sent messages to both George Bush and Israel's leaders asking to be recognized and offering a long-term truce (hudna), along the 1967 border lines. No response was forthcoming.[328]

Mousa Marzook said in 2007 that the charter could not be altered because it would look like a compromise not acceptable to the 'street' and risk fracturing the party's unity. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has stated that the Charter is "a piece of history and no longer relevant, but cannot be changed for internal reasons". Ahmed Yousef, senior adviser to Ismail Haniyeh, added in 2011 that it reflected the views of the Elders in the face of a 'relentless occupation.' The details of its religious and political language had not been examined within the framework of international law, and an internal committee review to amend it was shelved out of concern not to offer concessions to Israel, as had Fatah, on a silver platter.[329] While Hamas representatives recognize the problem, one official notes that Arafat got very little in return for changing the PLO Charter under the Oslo Accords, and that there is agreement that little is gained from a non-violent approach.[330] Richard Davis says the dismissal by contemporary leaders of its relevance and yet the suspension of a desire to rewrite it reflects the differing constituencies Hamas must address, the domestic audience and international relations.[331] The charter itself is considered an 'historical relic.'[332]

In March 2006, Hamas released its official legislative program. The document clearly signaled that Hamas could refer the issue of recognizing Israel to a national referendum. Under the heading "Recognition of Israel," it stated simply (AFP, 3/11/06): "The question of recognizing Israel is not the jurisdiction of one faction, nor the government, but a decision for the Palestinian people." This was a major shift away from their 1988 charter.[333] A few months later, via University of Maryland's Jerome Segal, the group sent a letter to U.S. President George W. Bush stating they "don't mind having a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders", and asked for direct negotiations: "Segal emphasized that a state within the 1967 borders and a truce for many years could be considered Hamas's de facto recognition of Israel."[334]

In an April 2008 meeting between Hamas leader Khaled Mashal and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, an understanding was reached in which Hamas agreed it would respect the creation of a Palestinian state in the territory seized by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, provided this were ratified by the Palestinian people in a referendum. Hamas later publicly offered a long-term truce with Israel if Israel agreed to return to its 1967 borders and grant the "right of return" to all Palestinian refugees.[335] In November 2008, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh re-stated that Hamas was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, and offered Israel a long-term truce "if Israel recognized the Palestinians' national rights".[336] In 2009, in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Haniyeh repeated his group's support for a two-state settlement based on 1967 borders: "We would never thwart efforts to create an independent Palestinian state with borders [from] June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital."[337] On December 1, 2010, Ismail Haniyeh again repeated, "We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees," and "Hamas will respect the results [of a referendum] regardless of whether it differs with its ideology and principles."[338]

In February 2012, according to the Palestinian authority, Hamas forswore the use of violence. Evidence for this was provided by an eruption of violence from Islamic Jihad in March 2012 after an Israeli assassination of a Jihad leader, during which Hamas refrained from attacking Israel.[339] "Israel –– despite its mantra that because Hamas is sovereign in Gaza it is responsible for what goes on there – almost seems to understand," wrote Israeli journalists Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, "and has not bombed Hamas offices or installations".[340]

Israel has rejected some truce offers by Hamas because it contends the group uses them to prepare for more fighting rather than peace.[341] The Atlantic magazine columnist Jeffrey Goldberg, along with other analysts, believes Hamas may be incapable of permanent reconciliation with Israel.[342][343] Mkhaimer Abusada, a political scientist at Al Azhar University, writes that Hamas talks "of hudna [temporary ceasefire], not of peace or reconciliation with Israel. They believe over time they will be strong enough to liberate all historic Palestine."[344]

The gender ideology outlined in the Hamas charter, the importance of women in the religious-nationalist project of liberation is asserted as no lesser than that of males. Their role was defined primarily as one of manufacturing males and caring for their upbringing and rearing, though the charter recognized they could fight for liberation without obtaining their husband's permission and in 2002 their participation in jihad was permitted.[345] The doctrinal emphasis on childbearing and rearing as woman's primary duty is not so different from Fatah's view of women in the First Intifada and it also resembles the outlook of Jewish settlers, and over time it has been subjected to change.[346][68]

In 1989, during the First Intifada, a small number of Hamas followers [347] campaigned for the wearing of the hijab, which is not a part of traditional women's attire in Palestine,In 1989, during the First Intifada, a small number of Hamas followers [347] campaigned for the wearing of the hijab, which is not a part of traditional women's attire in Palestine,[348] for polygamy, and also insisted women stay at home and be segregated from men. In the course of this campaign, women who chose not to wear the hijab were verbally and physically harassed, with the result that the hijab was being worn 'just to avoid problems on the streets'.[349] The harassment dropped drastically when, after 18 months UNLU condemned it,[350] though similar campaigns reoccurred.

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