Islamic Extremists Hamas:
Terrorism Against Israel
"Israel must be
"No Israel recognition"
Palestinian PM Ismail Haniya has reiterated that his Hamas-led government will not
Mr Haniya is on a visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran. He made the comments during a Friday prayers address.
"We will not give up our Jihadist movement until the full liberation of Beit al-Muqqadas [Jerusalem] and Palestinian land," Mr Haniya said.
Mr Haniya's tour of the Middle East has already taken in Qatar, Bahrain and Syria.
Palestinian terrorists under
the leadership of Ismail Haniya believe
in the battle cry of Osama bin Laden's second in command,
Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, who has stated, "Killing the
infidels is our religion, slaughtering them is our
religion, until they convert to Islam or pay us
Hamas Fact Sheet
Since its founding in 1987 in Gaza by Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, Hamas - an Arabic acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement meaning "zeal" - has been committed to destroying the Jewish state and replacing it with an Islamic state in all of Palestine.
Hamas was created shortly before the December 1987 Intifada as a more militant, Palestinian offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, a religious, political and social movement founded in Egypt and dedicated to the gradual victory of Islam. Since the mid-1970s, the Brotherhood had been expanding its influence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through its vast array of social services. Hamas advocacy of an immediate holy war to liberate Palestine rendered the Brotherhood's policy of gradual Islamicization ineffectual.
Hamas preaches and engages in violence and terror in order to destroy the state of Israel and replace it with an Islamic state. Its virulent hatred of Jews and Judaism is deeply rooted in the anti-Semitic writings of Muslim Brotherhood theologians.
In August 1988, Hamas issued its Covenant laying down its ideological principles and goals. Replete with anti-Semitism, it echoes the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion and charges Jews with an international conspiracy to gain control of the world. In Hamas' worldview, Islamic precepts forbid a Jewish state in the area known as Palestine, the Jewish people have no legitimate connection to the land of Israel and Yasir Arafat is a traitor to the Islamic Palestinian cause. As the Hamas Covenant proclaims, "The land of Palestine is an Islamic trust... It is forbidden to anyone to yield or concede any part of it... Israel will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it..."
Hamas Organizational Structure:
Hamas is both a terrorist organization and a mass social, political and religious movement. The military branch is reportedly divided into three wings: an intelligence arm which gathers information about Palestinians suspected of collaboration, an arm which pursues those who have violated Islamic law and the Izzedine al-Qassam squads who are responsible for most of the terror attacks. The al-Qassam squads are comprised of a few dozen activists loosely organized into small, shadowy terror cells, at times operating independently of each other. Hamas' military and political leaders are based throughout the West Bank and Gaza and the organization maintains offices and representatives in Teheran, Damascus and Amman. The connections and levels of coordination between the military and political branches are concealed.
The division of Hamas into military and political/social wings has led many observers to erroneously assume that the social wing of Hamas is completely separate from its military wing. However, funds raised for the social programs of Hamas free up other funds for the military wing and there is no open accounting system whereby the international community can ascertain whether or not the social wing finances the military wing. For instance, so-called humanitarian donations reward the families of Hamas suicide bombers.
Hamas' military wing also utilizes the organization's social wing for indoctrination and recruitment. The social, cultural, religious and educational institutions of Hamas are well-known venues for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hatred and serve as recruitment centers for Hamas suicide bombers. For example, a Hamas-sponsored soccer team in Hebron provided a ready supply of several Hamas suicide bombers. In early 2006, Hamas began operation of a television station based in Gaza, Al Aksa TV, which broadcasts primarily religious and children's programming. Al Aksa TV � which Hamas says it hopes to soon broadcast via satellite to broaden its audience � is likely to become a key tool in propagating Hamas' extremist message. Indeed, the host of the station's children's program told the New York Times that his show "will teach children the basics of militant Palestinian politics."
Hamas Terrorism and Violence:
Hamas launched its campaign of violence in 1989, first against Israeli soldiers and suspected Palestinian collaborators, and then against Israeli civilians. In the wake of the Oslo agreement, Hamas leaders intensified their rhetoric and vowed to derail the peace process through violent attacks. Drive-by shootings,
fire-bombings and stabbings increased. Suicide missions began in April 1994, when a Hamas suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a bus in Afula killing eight and wounding 50 others.
Since that time Hamas has claimed responsibility for hundreds of attacks against Israeli civilian and military targets. Israeli security sources have thwarted scores more. Following Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, Hamas carried out dozens of rocket attacks against civilian targets in southern Israel. According to the Israel Defense Forces, through suicide bombings and other violent attacks, Hamas has killed nearly 300 Israelis since September 2000, and wounded over 2,000.
While Hamas agreed to a ceasefire or "tahdia" on terrorist operations in March 2005, according to Israeli sources, Hamas continued to plan and perpetrate terrorist attacks, and helped provide support for attacks claimed by other terrorist organizations.
Through systematic religious and political indoctrination and social pressure, Hamas leaders recruit young Palestinian men for suicide missions and other attacks. Hamas has also recruited beyond the West Bank and Gaza. According to Israeli sources, Hamas has recruited and operated a number of Israeli Arab terror cells. In June 2003, Israel indicted five senior officials of the Israeli Arab Islamic Movement, including movement leader Sheikh Ra'ad Salah, on various terrorism-related charges including membership in Hamas and raising funds abroad for Hamas agencies in the West Bank and Gaza. According to Israeli sources, two British Muslim suicide bombers who blew up a pub in Tel Aviv in April 2003 were Hamas recruits dispatched by the Hamas military command in Gaza.
Hamas Financial Support:
Hamas enjoys strong financial backing from Iran (an estimated $20 - $30 million), private benefactors and Muslim charities in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, Palestinian expatriates across the globe and American donors. Its budget has been estimated at $70 million and 85 percent of it reportedly comes from abroad; the remaining 15 percent is raised among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. A number of Americans and U.S.-based charities have been implicated in funneling money to Hamas. It is estimated that Saudi Arabia continues to channel between $12 - $14 million to Hamas annually. At a June 2003 press conference, Adel al-Jubeir, a senior adviser to the Saudi Crown Prince, did acknowledge that many Palestinian institutions funded by the Saudis may be run or managed by the political wing of Hamas.
Syria remains a key center for Hamas operations, and the Assad regime provides support and protection to key Hamas leadership based in Damascus.
Hamas and Palestinian Politics:
Hamas had tremendous success in the January 25, 2006 parliamentary elections, routing Fatah, and winning 74 seats in the 132-seat legislature, with Fatah earning a disappointing 45 seats. Hamas will thus form the next Palestinian Authority government, with Mahmoud Abbas remaining as Palestinian Authority President.
Although the Oslo II agreement signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in September 1995, outlining the modalities of Palestinian elections, bars candidates who �commit or advocate racism; or pursue the implementation of their aims by unlawful or non-democratic
means, President Abbas did not prevent Hamas� participation in the political process.
Hamas began large-scale participation in the Palestinian political scene in 2005, and they did extremely well in the series of municipal elections held throughout the year, gaining more than a third of municipal council seats. As a result of the fourth round of Palestinian municipal elections held in December 2005, over one million Palestinians live in municipalities governed by Hamas (while only 700,000 live in municipalities governed by Fatah).
Hamas candidates appeal to Palestinian voters as the alternative to the perceived corruption, inaction and weakness of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority leadership. Candidates promised improved socio-economic conditions for Palestinian families, and greater social services. They also pledged an end to the
Israeli occupation, the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of all Palestinian refugees.
Through the 2006 election campaign, Hamas candidates and leadership did not disavow their commitment to an
armed struggle against Israel, their refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist, and the precepts of the Hamas Charter. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar declared on Palestinian TV,
We do not recognize the Israeli enemy, nor his right to be our neighbor, nor to stay (on the land), nor his ownership of any inch of land. . . . We are interested in restoring our full rights to return all the people of Palestine to the land of Palestine. Our principles are clear: Palestine is a land of Waqf (Islamic trust), which can not be given
up. At the same time, a number of Hamas candidates did make pragmatic statements, indicating that they might deal with Israelis in certain situations, or via a third party.
The entry of Hamas into Palestinian politics has been somewhat controversial. Some Hamas ideologues argue that involvement with the Palestinian Authority will lead to comprising the
party's goals, and the legitimization of the Palestinian Authority's dealings with the State of Israel. Indeed, for these reasons Hamas did not participate in the last Palestinian elections in 1996.
Hamas in Their Own Words
"[Hamas will] never recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist state that was founded on our land."
(Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader, February 3, 2006, Al-Hayyat al-Jedida)
"[Hamas] will not change a single word in its covenant [which is calling for the destruction of Israel]."
(Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas leader, after casting his vote in the Gaza Strip, January 25, 2006, Ha'aretz)
"The constants and the strategy of Hamas do not change according to circumstances. Hamas will stay faithful to jihad, to resistance, to guns, to Palestine and to Jerusalem."
(Ismail Haniyah, Hamas leader, at an election rally in Gaza, January 20, 2006, Gulf Daily News, Bahrain)
"We do not recognize the Israeli enemy, nor his right to be our neighbor, nor to stay (on the land), nor his ownership of any inch of land. . . . We are interested in restoring our full rights to return all the people of Palestine to the land of Palestine. Our principles are clear: Palestine is a land of Waqf (Islamic trust), which can not be given up."
(Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas leader and candidate to the Palestinian legislative council, Palestinian TV, January 17, 2006, Newsday)
"The program [of Hamas-backed list to legislative council] sets out the details and means for its implementation over the next four years, while the [Hamas] charter talks about vision and strategy. The movement is adhering to the constants and strategies outlined in the [Hamas] charter."
(Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu-Zuhri, explains to Al-Sharq al-Awsat that there is no contradiction between Hamas' platform for the election and its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel, January 13, 2006, BBC Monitoring)
"We are part of Allah's promise that Islam will enter Palestine and every home in the world, with a revelation of the power of Allah the Omnipotent, and a revelation of the inferiority of the infidels. Hamas is leading this plan in Gaza, the West Bank, and the 1948 territories, and the Muslim Brotherhood is leading it everywhere else. This is part of Allah's predestination."
(Dr. Mahmoud Zahar, interview in Arabic with elaph.com, October 11, 2005, MEMRI)
"The vanquishing of the enemy in Gaza does not mean that this stage has ended. We still have Jerusalem and the pure West Bank. We will not rest until we liberate all our land, all our Palestine. We do not distinguish between what was occupied in the 1940s and what was occupied in the 1960s. Our Jihad continues, and we still have a long way to go. We will continue until the very last usurper is driven out of our land."
(Sheik Nizar Rayan, Hamas "political" leader, at a rally in Gaza, Al-Jazeera TV on September 16, 2005,
"We have come here in multitudes to proclaim that Hirbiya and Ashkelon will be taken by the mujahideen. We have come here to say that the weapons of the resistance that you see here will remain, Allah willing, so that we can liberate Palestine, all of Palestine, from the Sea to the River, whether they like it or not."
(Mushir al-Masri, Hamas spokesman, at a rally in Gaza, Al-Jazeera TV on September 16, 2005, MEMRI)
"We knew that Bush is the enemy of God, the enemy of Islam and Muslims. America declared war against God. Sharon declared war against God, and God declared war against America, Bush and Sharon."
(Hamas leader Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi (killed in April 2004) at a rally in Gaza, March 28, 2004, AP)
''She [first Hamas woman suicide bomber] is not going to be the last because the march of resistance will continue until the Islamic flag is raised, not only over the minarets of Jerusalem, but over the whole universe.''
(Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, at funeral of Reem Raiyshi, who murdered 4 people, January 15, 2004, AP)
"By God, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine. We will fight them with all the strength we have. This is our land, not the Jews.
You will have no security except outside the homeland Palestine. We have Allah on our side, and we have the sons of the Arab and Islamic nations on our side."
(Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Hamas leader, June 10, 2003, interview with Al-Jazeera, Jerusalem Post)
"Suicide attacks and jihad reinforce national unity in the ranks�.Our voice is one of struggle, of jihad and of suicide�.Iraq could win if it equipped its citizens with explosive belts and turned them into human bombs."
(Sheik Ahmed Yassin, interview with the Muslim website Alskifa, January 10, 2003, translated by Israel Defense Forces)
"From our side, we concentrate on striking blows to it here in Palestine, with the aim of ironing out the Jewish entity in Palestine, which is the cause of trouble in the world. America always works in favor of the existence of the Israeli entity� This is mainly due to the Zionist-Christian conviction and the 70 million Americans who follow the Protestant creed, which is in favor of Jews against the Muslims. The same applies to most of Britain's population"
(Sheik Ahmed Yassin, interview with Australian Muslim youth magazine, Nida'ul Islam, June/ July 2002)
"Come to jihad, come to jihad, come to martyrdom. Those thirsty for Jihad all over the world. For the sake of Allah. For liberating the land of Palestine and Jerusalem. We declared and continue to declare now, that a Jew is a Jew, [do not trust them when they say they want peace because they act only] to serve their religion and their people."
(Hamas communique, March 9, 1989, translated and distributed in the U.S. by the Islamic Association for Palestine)
"The Nazi Jews tried different methods... Let everyone know that Hamas is only against Jews and those twisted in their manner, it realizes the Jews' methods in trying to cause hostility and friction between people. We should lend punches to the Jews wherever possible
to commemorate Muhammad's defeat of one of the Jewish tribes of Arabi]."
(Hamas communique, September 8, 1988, translated and distributed in the U.S. by the Islamic Association for Palestine)
Hamas terrorist Attacks Against Israel
August 28, 2005: A suicide bombing outside the Central Bus Station in Beersheba
severely injured two security guards who stopped the bomber from entering the bus station.
January 13, 2005: Six Israelis were killed and five other civilians were wounded in a double suicide bombing at the Karni crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The two suicide bombers used a very large explosive device to blast through a defensive wall that separates the Israeli and Palestinian sides at the crossing. Following the blast, the bombers crossed into the Israeli side, carrying explosives on their bodies, which they detonated.
August 28, 2004: Sixteen people, including a 3 year old, were killed and about 100 injured when two buses in Beersheba were attacked within minutes of each other by suicide bombers.
June 28, 2004: A Kassam rocket fired by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip struck near a nursery school in the northern Negev town of Sderot, killing an Israeli man and a 4-year old Israeli child.
April 17, 2004: A border policeman was killed and three others wounded when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at the Erez Crossing in Gaza.
March 14, 2004: Ten people were killed and 16 wounded in a double suicide bombing in the area of the Ashdod Port. Hamas and Fatah claimed responsibility for the attack.
January 14, 2004: A female suicide bomber killed four people and wounded 20 at the Erez Crossing in the Gaza Strip. Hamas and the Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.
October 15, 2003: Three Americans were killed and one wounded at the Beit Hanoun junction in the Gaza Strip when a massive bomb demolished an armor-plated jeep in a convoy carrying U.S. diplomats and CIA personnel. Both the militant Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements denied responsibility for the attack.
September 9, 2003: Hamas claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings, the first at an entrance to the Tzrifin army base near Rishon Lezion and the second at Cafe Hillel in the German colony neighborhood of Jerusalem, which killed a total of 15 people and wounded at least 80.
August 19, 2003: Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a bus in Jerusalem killing at least 18 people and wounding nearly 100.
August 12, 2003: Suicide bombers killed two Israelis and wounded more than a dozen people in two attacks within a half hour of each other, one at a shopping mall in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rosh Ha'ayin and the other at the entrance of the West Bank town of Ariel. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the Rosh Ha'ayin bombing and Hamas claimed to have carried out the Ariel attack.
June 20, 2003: An Israeli motorist was shot dead and three of his passengers were wounded when their car was fired upon by Palestinian terrorists near Ofra, north of Ramallah. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
June 11, 2003: Sixteen people were killed and more than 80 wounded when a suicide bomber blew up a Jerusalem city bus during the afternoon rush hour. The bomber was disguised as an ultra-orthodox Jew. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
May 19, 2003: A Palestinian suicide bomber on a bicycle attacked an Israeli checkpoint on the Gaza Strip, wounding three Israeli soldiers. Hamas claimed responsibility.
May 18, 2003: Seven people were killed and more than 20 wounded when a suicide bomber blew up a Jerusalem city bus at the start of the Israeli work week. The bomber was disguised as an ultra-orthodox Jew. Soon after, a suicide bomber carrying explosives and dressed in the garb of an ultra-orthodox Jew was stopped at a roadblock. The Palestinian detonated his explosives, killing only himself. Hamas claimed responsibility in both attacks.
May 17, 2003: A pregnant Israeli woman and her husband were killed when a suicide bomber detonated himself next to them in a public square in Hebron. Hamas claimed responsibility.
April 30, 2003: Three people were killed and dozens wounded in a suicide bombing at a beachfront pub in Tel Aviv. The Fatah Tanzim and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, carried out as a joint operation.
March 7, 2003: Two Israelis were killed and five were wounded when armed terrorists infiltrated the community of Kiryat Arba and attacked during Shabbat. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
March 5, 2003: Sixteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded when a terrorist detonated a powerful bomb on a bus en route to Haifa University. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
January 5, 2003: Twenty two people were killed and about 120 wounded in a double suicide bombing near the old Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Islamic Jihad and Hamas all claimed responsibility for the attacks.
November 21, 2002: Eleven people were killed and 47 injured when a Palestinian suicide bomber exploded on a bus filled with passengers, including schoolchildren, in the Kiryat Menahem neighborhood in Jerusalem. The bus was traveling toward the center of the city during the morning rush hour. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
October 27, 2002: Two Israeli police officers and a soldier were killed, and 20 bystanders were wounded in a suicide bombing at a gas station near the settlement of Ariel in the West Bank. The two officers and soldier were killed while trying to prevent the terrorist from detonating the bomb. Hamas and the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.
September 19, 2002: Six people were killed and 60 wounded when a terrorist detonated a bomb on one of Tel Aviv's busiest streets, in a bus opposite the Great Synagogue. Many of the wounded were in critical or serious condition. Both Islamic Jihad and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
August 4, 2002: Nine people were killed and about 50 wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus at the Meron junction in northern Israel. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
July 3, 2002: Eight people were killed and 86 injured, 14 seriously, when a bomb went off at the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria on the Hebrew University Mt. Scopus campus during the busy lunchtime rush. Israeli authorities reported that the explosive device had been planted ahead of time, with the terrorist possibly detonating it by remote control. Five Americans were among the dead. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
June 18, 2002: Nineteen people were killed and more than 70 were injured, in a suicide bombing on a bus just outside of Jerusalem. The bus, which was completely destroyed, was traveling from Gilo to Jerusalem and had many students on board. In addition to the bus, at least two other vehicles were severely damaged in the attack. Hamas claimed responsibility.
June 8, 2002: Three Israelis, including a pregnant woman, were killed, and five were injured when an armed terrorist
infiltrated the community of Carmei Tzur, south of Jerusalem. Hamas claimed responsibility
for the attack.
May 19, 2002: Three Israelis were killed and more than 50 injured in a suicide bombing at an open-air market in Netanya. A Palestinian disguised as an Israeli soldier carried out the attack. Both Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility. Two of the victims were identified as Yosef Haviv, 70 and Arkadi Wiselman, 40, both of Netanya. Wiselman, a chef at the Park Hotel, survived the Passover bombing on March 27.
April 27, 2002: Three Palestinian gunmen disguised as Israeli Army soldiers cut through the perimeter fence of Adora, a settlement on the West Bank, and entered several homes, firing on residents in their bedrooms. Four people, including a 5-year-old girl, were killed in the attacks. Another seven were injured, including one seriously. Both Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility.
March 31, 2002: Fourteen people were killed and more than 40 injured in a suicide bombing in Haifa, in the Matza gas station restaurant near a shopping mall. Several of the injured were in serious to critical condition. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
March 27, 2002: Twenty-two people were killed and 140 injured - 20 seriously - in a suicide bombing at the Park Hotel in the coastal city of Netanya, in the midst of the Passover holiday seder with 250 guests. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
March 19, 2002: 1st Lt. Tal Zemach, 20, of Kibbutz Hulda, was killed and three soldiers were injured when Palestinian terrorists opened fire at the paratroop training compound in the Jordan Valley. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
March 9, 2002: Eleven people were killed and 54 injured, 10 of them seriously, when a suicide bomber exploded at in a crowded cafe at the corner of Aza and Ben-Maimon streets in the Rehavia neighborhood in the center of Jerusalem. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
March 7, 2002: Aharon Krogliak of Beit El, Tal Kurtzweil of Bnei Brak, Asher Marcus of Jerusalem, Eran Pikar of Jerusalem, and Ariel Zana of Jerusalem, all aged 18, were killed and 23 people were injured, four seriously, when a Palestinian gunman penetrated a
high school that combines religious studies and military training in the Gush Katif settlement of Atzmona late Thursday night. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
March 5, 2002: Palestinians fired two Kassam II rockets at the city of Sderot shortly before 18:00 PM on Tuesday. One of the rockets hit a residential building, moderately wounding a 16-month-old infant. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
February 10, 2002: A drive-by terrorist shooting at the entrance to the IDF Southern Command base in Be'er Sheva killed two female soldiers and injured four others. One of the Palestinian terrorists was killed at the scene; the second, wearing an explosives belt, fled in the direction of a nearby school when he was shot and killed by a soldier and police officer. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
December 2, 2001: A suicide bombing on a No. 16 Egged bus in Haifa killed 15 people and injured about 40 people. Hamas claimed responsibility for the Haifa blast, while
Hezbullah's radio and television stations expressed support for the attacks.
December 1, 2001: A double suicide bombing at the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall in Jerusalem at 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday night killed 11 people, aged 12-21, and injured 188 people. A car bomb exploded 20 minutes later. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack
also: Israeli Victims of Terrorism List