The counter-intelligence office was unknown to Hamas officials in Turkey or Erdogan, Western intelligence agencies reveal
Hamas is a militant and political Islamist group operating in the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by much of the international community, but enjoys wide support from Palestinians as a legitimate force against Israel’s occupation.
The movement was founded as an offshoot of Egypt’s Islamic Brotherhood, and in 1987 Hamas spiritual leader and founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin established the movement’s military wing, which became known as Hamas. In 1988, in the wake of the outbreak of the First Intifada, Hamas published its official charter, in which it announced its departure from nonviolence in its struggle against Israel.
Hamas’ popularity among Palestinians comes partly from its tradition of providing welfare programs, such as schools and hospitals. The militant wing of Hamas adheres to the movement’s 1988 charter which calls for the liberation of all of historic Palestine, and views all lands under Israel’s domain as part of an Islamic Waqf, of which every inch must be liberated.
The signature of the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was viewed by the Hamas leadership inside the territories and in exile as a violation of Palestinian rights, and in 1993 Hamas launched its first suicide attack inside Israel, a practice that it would uphold from then on, causing massive Israeli civilian casualties.
Hamas leaders have long been the target of Israeli assassinations. Yassin was killed in 2004 in a missile strike as he left a mosque in Gaza. His Hamas co-founder, Abdel Rantisi, was killed weeks later in an Israeli air strike. In 1997, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal was the target of a botched assassination attempt by agents from Israel’s Mossad espionage agency operating covertly in Jordan. Meshal’s life was saved when Israel agreed to hand over the antidote to the toxin used on him, in return for the release of the two Mossad agents caught and held in Jordan during the assassination attempt. Yassin, who was in an Israeli jail at the time, was released under the terms of the agreement.
Long-standing tensions between Hamas and the secular Fatah came to a head following the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, which gave Hamas a decisive victory and put it in charge of the political regime in the Palestinian territories. Hamas’ Gaza chief, Ismail Haniyeh, was named Palestinian prime minister, but Hamas’ status as a terror group resulted in immediate sanctions from Israel and other Western countries. The group rejected demands to adhere to previously signed peace agreements, renounce violence and accept Israel’s right to exist, and the sanctions were upheld.
Meanwhile, tensions with Fatah grew as the two factions attempted to cooperate with the framework of a unity government, but when the attempt failed and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the government, bloody clashes erupted between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza, resulting in the seizure of the area by Hamas in June 2007.
There have been numerous attempts by neighboring Arab countries to end the Hamas-Fatah rift, and form a unified Palestinian leadership. The failure of the two groups to come together has perpetuated the continuing division within the Palestinian Authority, with Fatah as de facto rulers in the West Bank, and Hamas firmly in control in Gaza.
As in most struggles between guerrilla organizations and regular armies, Gaza militants identify Israel's weak points and Israel in turn corrects them
No casualties or damage reported
Palestinians should quit blaming Arab allies for their failures, feuding and violence, and take responsibility. There’s a brave new dawn in Arab-Israeli relations: Which Arabs have the courage to embrace it?
Analysis Promising Change or Clinging to Power? Behind the Palestinian Leaders' Vow to Hold Elections
Building up expectations for an imminent election, 16 years after the last one, is a way to preserve the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority’s political elite and civil service
Vote would be in stages, first forming a parliament, then electing new president, and finally choosing members of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Fatah official says
Fatah and Hamas meet in Istanbul, hoping to pave the way for a united Palestinian front against normalization - but no major steps are expected before the U.S. elections
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Exchange comes after two rockets were launched at southern Israeli cities just as Netanyahu inked agreements between Israel and two Gulf states
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Egyptian defense officials, who also spent four hours in Israel, are said to be promoting the implementation of truce agreements
Mahmoud Ben Khamis Makdad, from southern Israel and with family in Gaza, had been recruited by the organization to bomb bus stop
Karim Younes is above the calculations of power and personal profit that are eating up the Fatah movement. That’s why the accusatory letter he sent is so important
Israel is able to manage risks and promote new alliances. But the entire region is entering a waiting game, with all eyes on the U.S. election
Suspects were recorded by a purported Hamas member — who was working for the FBI — promising to act as mercenaries for the group in exchange for cash, the Justice Department said
The media obediently promoted and amplified an illusory ‘breakthrough’ stage-managed by the Trump administration - while this week’s real peacemaker, Qatar, was sidelined
Ismail Haniyeh's Beirut meeting with the Hezbollah leader would take place days after understandings reached with Israel to end weeks of tensions and clashes
For Hamas, recent developments are a proof it can use military force to extort concessions from Israel ■ Trump administration wants to complete sale of F-35 jets to UAE before November election
Announcement comes after several weeks of escalating tensions, and as Gaza manages a renewed coronavirus outbreak
A spokesman for the Gaza Interior Ministry said on Saturday that the lockdown would be extended for another 48 hours after the number of infected people has risen to 182
On Saturday alone, explosive-laden balloons ignited 25 fires across the border in Israel, prompting the army to strike Hamas targets in the southern enclave
Sirens blare across southern border communities after army attacks in response to incendiary balloons launched from the Palestinian enclave
Official warns enclave can't handle more than a few dozen COVID-19 patients
Instead of strategy accepting Hamas will stay in power, Israel has taken a confused line – accusing group of holding Gazans hostage, while also imposing economic sanctions
Gaza-based group, dealing with economic fallout of pandemic, asking reasonable price for quiet – but it's not clear that's what Israel wants
Army says underground facility targeted after another day in which dozens of fires started
Ankara says it 'fully rejects' State Department's objection to meeting with Palestinian leader Ismail Haniyeh
With limited hospital facilities in dealing with an outbreak, authorities are concerned over potentially disastrous combination of poverty and crowded refugee camps
Rumors say Dahlan, adviser to UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, acted as middleman. He is also a favorite of the Israelis and the Americans, who are planning to crown him the next Palestinian leader
Fighter jets and tanks hit Hamas military positions, as well as underground infrastructure in the southern enclave, according to an army statement