Hamas a Quarter Century of Terror


A Quarter Century of Terror


      Hamas is a religiopolitical terrorist organization founded in 1987, based in the Gaza Strip, the geographic area in Western Israel that borders both Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. Hamas means "zeal" or "fervour" in Arabic is an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, or Islamic Resistance Movement.

      The group was founded as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and is committed to the destruction of the State of Israel (Israel Hamas Fact Sheet 2006).   Hamas can be, in many ways, compared to another notorious terror organization, Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda is another well-known terror organization operating in the Middle East. Both organizations espouse the removal of western influence from Muslim areas, most notably Saudi Arabia and Palestine. Additionally, they both believe the State of Israel does not have the “right” to exist. Each of these organizations has shown no compunction to utilize terror as a vehicle to achieve their stated goals. Finally, both organizations feel that all governments must conform to Islamic Law (Inside Al-Qaeda 2004). One interesting side note is both organizations, Hamas, and Al-Qaeda were founded at approximately the same time, Hamas in 1987 and Al-Qaeda in either 1988 or 1989.

      Hamas was first officially recognized by Israel in 1978.   According to The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (“ICT) papers, Hamas was legally registered in 1978 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement's spiritual leader, as an Islamic Association with the name of Al-Mujamma al Islami, (In Defence of Marxism., 2003). In another interesting parallel with Al-Qaeda, Israel initially funded Hamas both overtly and covertly, in an attempt to control, destabilize and destroy The Palestine Liberation Organization (the “PLO”).The United States did this with the Mujahedeen, Afghan freedom fighters who fought against the Soviet Union during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in...