Historic landmarks of Hamas throughout the Palestinian struggle

2 months ago

Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the establishment of Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas on 14 December 1987.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hamas has announced that it cancelled this year’s anniversary celebrations. 

Hamas a is a national liberation movement with a moderate Islamic school of thought that confines its struggle and work to the Palestine cause and does not interfere into affairs of others.

Resisting the Israeli occupation is the strategic project of Hamas, which is also working in different fields at the political, diplomatic, media, cultural, popular, social, relief, and educational levels.

Establishment

On 14 December 1987, Hamas Movement was founded by a group of Muslim Brotherhood officials in the Gaza Strip, foremost among them was Sheikh Ahmad Yassin. 

The movement’s establishment coincided with the outbreak of the Palestinian First Intifada on 9 December 1987.  

Hamas’ influence has enormously extended after what political monitors call its effective and strong participation in the struggle against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian movement adopted armed action against the Israeli occupation in 1987 by forming a military wing that it called then the “Palestinian Mujahideen.”

First charter

Hamas issued its first charter in 1988, defining itself as a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.

In the first charter, Hamas said that its thoughts and perceptions of the universe, life, and humanity are based on its approach and that all of its acts are in line with it. 

One of the most prominent goals of Hamas is to resist the Israeli occupation, liberate the Palestinian territories, and establish a Palestinian state.

In its charter, Hamas empathised historic Palestine is an “Islamic Waqf [Trust] upon all Muslim generations till the Day of Resurrection. Itis not right to give it up nor any part of it.”

Military action

Hamas established its armed military wing in 1992; the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades issued its first statement on 1 January 1992.

The seeds of armed resistance against the Israeli occupation were planted in 1986 – before the official establishment of Hamas.

Before the founding of al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing was operating under the name of the Palestinian Mujahideen, commanded by Sheikh Salah Shehada.  

The Palestinian Mujahideen managed to abduct and kill Israeli occupation soldiers Avi Sasportas on 3 February 1989 and Ilan Saadon on 3 May 1989.

The Israeli occupation, in turn, cracked down on the Palestinian Mujahideen in 1989, prompting Hamas to form al-Qassam Brigades in 1992. 

Political observers said that the establishment of al-Qassam Brigades helped to change the equation of struggle against the Israeli occupation. 

Political participation

Hamas got engaged in the Palestinian political system for the first time when it took part in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections.

The resistance movement won the vast majority of seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council.  

However, this victory was met by Israeli, American, and European objections.

The Israeli occupation, in addition, has imposed a suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip since then.

The new charter

Hamas published a new policy document through which it seeks to gain regional and international acceptance, according to observers.

In this document, Hamas agreed on the establishment of an interim Palestinian state within pre-1967 boundaries, without recognising the Israeli occupation.

The new charter included articles emphasising Hamas’ rejection of radicalism and embracing moderation.  

The Palestinian resistance movement stressed that its struggle is not with Jews but fights against those who occupy Palestine.

Assassinating Hamas officials

Since the movement’s establishment in 1987, Hamas officials have been targeted by the Israeli occupation, foremost among them Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the Hamas founder, on 22 March 2004, Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi on 14 April 2004, Salah Shehada, the founder of Hamas’ first military wing, the Palestinian Mujahideen, on 22 July 2002, Ismail Abu Shaneb on 21 August 2003, and Ahmad al-Jabari, the second-in-command of al-Qassam Brigades, on 14 November 2012.  

Since its founding 33 years ago, Hamas has been engaged in a struggle against the Israeli occupation, in which it has used all forms of resistance to defend its people against the ongoing Israeli aggression.