Hamas (Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamiya) (Islamic Resistance Movement)
Hamas, the Arabic acronym for the group Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamiya, is a radical Islamist-nationalist terrorist organization that emerged from the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1987. It uses political and violent means to pursue its goal of establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in Israel. Since 1990, Hamas has been responsible for several hundred terrorist attacks against both civilian and military targets. Hamas has been one of the primary groups involved in suicide bombings aimed at Israelis since the start of the Al-Aqsa intifada in September 2000. In 2006, Hamas participated in and won Palestinian parliamentary elections, leading to negotiations between the group and the Palestinian Authority over the establishment of a unity government. In 2007, however, Hamas overthrew the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip and seized power of the coastal territory. Although the group’s political leadership resides in Damascus, Hamas uses the Gaza Strip as a base for terrorist operations aimed against Israel.
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