Based on the principles of Islamic fundamentalism
gaining momentum throughout the Arab world in the 1980s, Hamas was founded in 1987 (during the First Intifada
) as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood
. Co-founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin
stated in 1987, and the Hamas Charter
affirmed in 1988, that Hamas was founded to liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state
in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. However, in July 2009, Khaled Meshal
, Hamas's political bureau chief, said the organization was willing to cooperate with "a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict which included a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders
", provided that Palestinian refugees hold the right to return to Israel and that East Jerusalem be the new nation's capital.
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas affiliated military wing, has launched attacks on Israel, against both military and civilian targets. Attacks on civilian targets have included rocket attacks
and, from 1993 to 2006, suicide bombings
.Military targets included Israeli outposts and border crossings and rival Palestinian militias in the occupied territories. Read more...