What is Hamas ?

In the sadly usual context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the rocket rain HAMAS batter the skulls of innocent Israeli civilians, in retaliation for Tsahal missiles whose aim is to silence those damned batteries.

What is Hamas ?

A story of 1500 years … At the time, David (later King of the Jews and father of Solomon which we know by the Temple) faced Goliath the Philistine giant. Begun with pebbles, the war continues today with planes and explosive…

What is Hamas?

We know only a few fleeting images, masked men in black, ammunition slung, brandishing Kalashnikov skyward and promising divine vengeance. We also know that they defend the Palestinian cause. And that’s about all …

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Hamas is supporting the cause of Palestinian resistance movement in Israel. In other words, if the Jewish state have not be created, Hamas had never emerged.

As already mentioned, the term « Palestinian » derives from the term « Philistines » which Goliath was the most famous (and unhappy..) representative. But those so-called « Palestinians » today no longer have much to do with these distant ancestors. These Philistines were at Canaan (current Israel) since immemorial time (between the first and second millennium BC). To set some benchmarks :

  • the story of ‘ Abraham (the first common patriarch of Hebrews and Muslims) dates from 2000 BC;
  • the story of Moses, who led the Hebrews in the Promised Land, had taken place between 1400 to 1270 BC. The first clashes between Jews and Philistines date from this period.

Since, many populations invaded Philistines territory : (Egyptians Rames II), Hebrews (Joshua), Assyrians, Babylonians (who exiled the Jews to Babylon), Macedonians (Alexander-the-Great), Greeks, Romans, Arabs (Muhammad), French (Napoleon the first), English…).

Ethnographically, Hamas means « zeal ». The movement was created in 1987 (first intifada or war of stones) by the Muslim Brotherhood (Sunni movement). His birthplace is Gaza, but it has since grown and spread well beyond its natural boundaries.

Why Hamas was created by the Brothers?

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Six Day War in 1967

In 1967, Egypt (as well as other Arab countries bordering Israel) wiped a crushing defeat in the Six Day War. Israel took, at this occasion, control of the Old City of Jerusalem, she considered (and still consider) as its capital, and the occupied territories (which belonged to Palestinians).

Muslim Brotherhood, in these occupied territories, created a social structure, based in particular on Islam, to help people: They gained influence and sympathy and soon presented a credible alternative to the impotent Arab governments and the Fatah of Yasser Arafat.

In 1973, an iconic character, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (who died in 2004, pulverized by an Israeli missile) founded an Islamic center in Gaza. This center became the headquarters of the brothers. Ahmed Yassin, a quadriplegic, was a fierce opponent of any negotiated solution with Israel and especially one of the most mobilizing supporters of suicide bombings.

What is Hamas? A Sunni movement.

As good Sunni Muslims brotherhood received financial support from the large Sunni power : Saudi Arabia (and other Gulf countries, all Sunni).

Israel not worried yet the movement still working on social field. Muslim brotherhood distuurbed Fatah, particularly active in opposition to the creation of the State of Israël. Fatah did not please every Muslims, especially younger generations. As often in the resistance movements, a military wing broke away from the main trunk; this branch gave birth to its most violent offspring : HAMAS.

During the first Intifada (1987), Hamas decided to take action. HAMAS rallied supporters and threw his first murderous actions. The Fatah did not have the same religious foundation and risked being overwhelmed by this new movement. HAMAS explained his program in 1988 in its charter: it supports the themes dear to PLO (organization of Liberation of Palestine), such as :

  • the liberation of Palestine;
  • non-recognition of Israel;

Article 11 of the Charter of HAMAS – August 18 1988

Movement of the Islamic Resistance believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic land, for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. It is unlawful to waive them in whole or in part, to part with in whole or in part: no Arab state has the right, nor all united Arab States; no king or president has the right or even all kings and presidents together; no organization has the right, nor even the united organizations, be they Palestinian or Arab. Palestine, indeed, is an Islamic land for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection, and who therefore could claim to enjoy the full delegation of all Islamic generations until the Day of Resurrection?

But HAMAS also supports antisemitic considerations, including a common theme to Nazism: the denunciation of the Jewish determination to dominate the world, described in the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This document is a fake, written in Paris in 1901 by an agent of Tsar Nicolas II to encourage him to beware of Jews. Note that this protocol was also used by the Thule Society behind the NSDAP (Nazi Party) in Germany in the 30s to justify the Holocaust.

What is Hamas? A radical movement closed to any compromise with Israel

In 1993, Hamas refused OSLO agreements (mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO and abandonment of armed struggle), which marked off a sharp dividing line with Fatah (Yasser Arafat had then clearly committed in this peace process and had also received the Nobel prize for this initiative).

In 1994, Palestinian Authority (still run by Yasser Arafat) settled in Gaza. A reconciliation seemed to be emerging between Fatah and HAMAS. But, in 1995, the murder of Yitzhak Rabin (Israeli Prime Minister) and the wave of suicide bombings that responded to the extension of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, redistributes the cards.

A military wing came in addition to Hamas: Al-Qassam Brigades (founded by Yahya Ayyash). The objective was to block, by all means, including military actions, the implementation of agreements Oslo.

In 2000, a new intifada broke out. HAMAS, rallying supporters thanks to its proximity to the population, became more and more violent. It is also engaged in the political field, presznting candidates in the 2006 elections againts the Fatah of Mahmoud Abbas (successor to Arafat died in Paris) breathless : The Fatah was indeed convinced of corruption and was served by the lack of concrete results achieved by the agreements OSLO: Palestinian state still does not exist … Hamas took control of Gaza, leaving Fatah in the West Bank.

Since it is rocket fire against Israeli raids but also undeclared war between the two enemy brothers : HAMAS and HAMAS FATAH. HAMAS is now listed as a terrorist organization by the US and EU. Contact is impossible except if HAMAS does :

  • recognize Israel;
  • renounce violence;
  • accept the Oslo agreements.

what today seems out of reach.

With Protector Border Intervention decided by Israel in July 2014, in retaliation for the killing of three Palestinian teenagers, Hamas seems mired in extreme policies, seeking to legitimize its action presenting itself as the only bulwark against the Israeli provocation. Every Gazan death strengthens. It is the opportunity to repeat loops in the message of hate and rejection of peace compromis. Peace is not possible.