Palestinian Islamist political and military organization, widely designated as a terrorist organization

Hamas, an acronym of its official name, Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (Arabic: حركة المقاومة الاسلامية, lit."Islamic Resistance Movement"), is a Palestinian Sunni Islamist political and military movement in Gaza.

Prime MinisterIsmail Haniyeh[1]
Foreign MinisterMahmoud Zahar[1]
FounderSheikh Ahmed Yassin, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi & Mahmoud Zahar
Founded1987 (1987)
HeadquartersGaza City, Gaza Governorate
Student wingIslamic Bloc[2]
National Conservatism
International affiliationAxis of Resistance
Party flag
LeadersYahya Sinwar
Part of Muslim Brotherhood[3]
AlliesState allies:

Non-state allies:

OpponentsState opponents:

Non-state opponents:

Hamas was started in 1987 by Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi after the beginning of the First Uprising against Israeli violence and occupation. It started as the Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood organization in Egypt. In the 2006 legislative election, the party received 74 out of 132 seats in parliament by campaigning on clean government without corruption, combined with affirmation of Palestinians’ right to defend against the violent Israeli occupation and administrates Gaza. The party has supported the reestablishment of the Land of Palestine in all historic land, which includes the West Bank, Gaza, and the State of Israel. Hamas (along with 38 other countries) does not recognize the State of Israel.[34] The 2017 Hamas Charter stated that the party's struggle was with Zionists and Israeli terrorists. In 2018, the United Nations voted to reject an American claim to condemn Hamas. Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told the Reuters news agency, "Rejecting the American drafted resolution against the resistance represents a blow to the American administration and reaffirms the legitimacy of the resistance."

Hamas is an acronym of the Arabic phrase Arabic: حركة المقاومة الاسلامية, or Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya or "Islamic Resistance Movement". The Hebrew meaning of the name Hamas (חמס; as used in the Hebrew Bible) is "violence".



Hamas is known for its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which plans and carries out attacks on Israel. Because of its history of suicide bombings and rocket attacks on civilians in Israel,[35] the United States, European Union and other countries call it a terrorist organisation. The country of Jordan has banned the group.[36]

Many non-state groups support the use of “terrorist organization” to describe Hamas; Zionist organizations and other pro-Israel groups in particular support this. These groups also exert pressure on the international press to use this language.[37] However, many of the international press, including the English-language edition of the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz and until 20th October 2023, the BBC, refer to Hamas members by the more neutral term "militants” instead. [38]



In early 2006, Hamas won a clear victory in the vote for the Palestinian legislative election. Voters saw Hamas as an alternative to exchange the long-ruling Fatah party, the main part of the PLO. This was due to how Fatah had not improved the Palestinian people's conditions and instead allegedly worsened conditions by corruption. There have been no elections since 2006.

Local work


Hamas has shown its organizational ability by building health, education, and social services to help the population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where there are many poor people. Their efforts ended up increasing support to Hamas. In the first half of 2007, Hamas gained political control of the Gaza Strip, while Fatah keeps its headquarters in the West Bank.[34]

  1. However, al-Qaeda endorsed the 7 October 2023 attacks. [33]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (Hamas)". Transnational and non state armed groups. Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research Harvard University. 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  2. "Hamas students wing heads students' council at Al Najah University in West Bank". Middle East Monitor. 29 May 2023. Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  3. Frisch, Hillel (2010), Rubin, Barry (ed.), "Hamas: The Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood", The Muslim Brotherhood: The Organization and Policies of a Global Islamist Movement, The Middle East in Focus, New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, pp. 89–102, doi:10.1057/9780230106871_7, ISBN 978-0-230-10687-1, retrieved 8 January 2024
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Qatar, Iran, Turkey and beyond: Hamas's network of allies". France 24. 14 October 2023.
  5. Kingsley, Patrick (26 July 2013). "Egyptian army questions Mohamed Morsi over alleged Hamas terror links". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2023.
  6. "Adviser to Iran's Khamenei expresses support for Palestinian attacks: Report". Al Arabiya. AFP. 7 October 2023 – via al-Arabiya.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Most of Gaza is poor, but Hamas has cash. Where does it come from?". NBC News. 25 October 2023.
  8. "Evidence shows Hamas militants likely used some North Korean weapons in attack on Israel". Associated Press. 19 October 2023.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Ehl, David (15 May 2021). "What is Hamas and who supports it?". Deutsche Welle.
  10. Staff (18 October 2023). "South Africa says it discussed aid with Hamas leader, denies reports of support". Retrieved 18 October 2023.
  11. Abdelaziz, Khalid; Eltahir, Nafisa; Irish, John (23 September 2021). "Sudan closes door on support for Hamas". Reuters. Retrieved 18 October 2023.
  12. "Experts Weigh in on Regional Impact of Syria-Hamas Rapprochement". VOA News. 20 October 2022. Retrieved 8 October 2023.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Gidda, Mirren (25 July 2014). "Hamas Still Has Some Friends Left". Time. Retrieved 18 October 2023.
  14. "Hamas, PLO slam 'blatant US interference' in Venezuela affairs". Middle East Monitor. 25 January 2019.
  15. "Houthis, Hamas merge diplomacy around prisoner releases – Al-Monitor: Independent, trusted coverage of the Middle East". Al-Monitor. 5 January 2021.
  16. "Hamas awards 'Shield of Honor' to Houthi representative in Yemen, sparking outrage in Saudi Arabia". JNS.org. 16 June 2021.
  17. "Polisario reaffirms its determination to continue struggle until right to self-determination is restored". Sahara Press Service. 10 October 2023. Archived from the original on 14 October 2023. Retrieved 10 October 2023. Evoking the serious developments in Palestine, the Permanent Bureau of the Polisario Front reaffirmed the solidarity of the Sahrawi people with the Palestinian people.
  18. Fabian, Emanuel. "Officer, 2 soldiers killed in clash with terrorists on Lebanon border; mortars fired". The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on 9 October 2023. Retrieved 9 October 2023.
  19. "الجبهة الشعبية: قرار الإدارة الأمريكية بتوفير الدعم للكيان هدفه تطويق النتائج الاستراتيجية لمعركة طوفان الأقصى". alahednews.com.lb (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 9 October 2023. Retrieved 8 October 2023.
  20. "Palestinian Factions: Hamas and PIJ | Wilson Center". www.wilsoncenter.org. Retrieved 25 June 2024.
  21. "Qassam Brigades announces control of 'Erez Crossing'". Roya News. 7 October 2023. Archived from the original on 7 October 2023. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  22. "IRAN UPDATE, OCTOBER 14, 2023". ISW. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  23. "Iran Update, October 17, 2023". Institute for the Study of War. 17 October 2023.
  24. Fabian, Emanuel (19 October 2023). "IDF says it killed head of military wing of Gaza's Popular Resistance Committees". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 19 October 2023.
  25. "New Jihadi Group Al-Farouq Brigades Threatens To Launch Attacks Against Israel From Sinai, Warns Egyptian Army Not To Stand In Their Way: It Is The Duty Of Every Muslim To Take Up Arms And Wage Jihad Against Israel, Avenge The Blood Of The Martyrs In Gaza". MEMRI. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  26. hhanes (18 January 2024). "Armed group in the Sinai declares it will fight Israel". FDD. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  27. "Ministry of Foreign Affairs stresses importance of providing full protection to citizens, ending battle between Hamas, Israeli Forces". Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 9 October 2023. Archived from the original on 10 October 2023. Retrieved 9 October 2023.
  28. "Bahrain denounces Hamas kidnappings". www.timesofisrael.com. 9 October 2023. Archived from the original on 10 October 2023. Retrieved 9 October 2023.
  29. "Is Jordan planning to restore ties with Hamas?". The Jerusalem Post.
  30. "How the US became Israel's closest ally". 13 October 2023.
  31. "What Effect ISIS' Declaration Of War Against Hamas Could Have In The Middle East". NPR.
  32. AFP. "Hamas arrests Salafi sheikh over alleged Islamic State ties - Radical cleric Adnan Khader Mayat detained on Sunday by Gaza security forces". Times of Israel. Retrieved 9 November 2023.
  33. Burke, Jason (22 October 2023). "Al-Qaida and IS call on followers to strike Israeli, US and Jewish targets". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 January 2024.
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  35. "Hamas". Haaretz.com. Retrieved 22 December 2019. ...in 1993 Hamas launched its first suicide attack inside Israel, a practice that it would uphold from then on, causing massive Israeli civilian casualties.
  36. Hirst, David (22 November 1999). "Jordan curbs Hamas". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  37. AFP and ToI Staff. "Hundreds protest at BBC headquarters over refusal to refer to Hamas as terror group". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 17 October 2023.
  38. "BBC drops 'militant' as default description for Hamas". www.ft.com. Retrieved 20 October 2023.