As the world waits to see if this latest ceasefire agreement holds between Israel and Hamas, TheBlaze’s national security editor Buck Sexton offers an in-depth look at the history of Hamas and why it is considered a terrorist organization.
As Buck explained, Hamas is both a word and an acronym. In Arabic, the word ‘hamas’ translates to mean zeal, while the letters stand for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya – or the “Islamic Resistance Movement.”
The group is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and was founded in 1987 during a time known as “The First Intifada.” The word ‘intifada’ means uprising. Just a year later, in 1988, the Hamas Charter was established with the goal to “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.” Unsurprisingly, the term Palestine is meant to encompass Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
Over the course of the last two decades, Hamas has engaged in suicide bombings, rocket and mortar attacks at civilians, kidnappings, knife attacks, and car bombings. Unlike other groups, Hamas seeks out civilian casualties as part of its resistance against the Israeli state.
While the United States first designated Hamas an a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) in 1997, not every country has followed suit. Turkey, Russia, and Arab states do not consider Hamas to be a terrorist group.