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The flag of Hamas, a calligraphy by the Shahada, against a green background
The Hamas emblem shows two crossed swords, the Dome of the Rock and a map of today's Israel including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip , which it claims completely as Palestine. The representation of the Dome of the Rock is framed by two Palestinian national flags

The Hamas ( Arabic حَمَاسْ, DMG ḥamās  ' enthusiasm ',' zeal ',' fighting spirit ', also the acronym HAMAS from Ḥarakat al-muqāwama al-islāmiyya , Islamic resistance movement' ) is a radical Islamic Palestinian organization or a Sunni - Islamist Palestinian terror organization . It was founded in 1987 as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, among others by Ahmad Yasin . It consists of the paramilitary Qassam brigades , an aid organization and a political party.

One of the goals of Hamas is to eliminate the state of Israel by military means and to establish an Islamic state . In its founding charter , published August 18, 1988, Hamas referred to the world's most influential anti-Semitic conspiracy theory , The Protocols of the Elders of Zion . On May 1, 2017, Hamas published a policy and position paper, the nature of which as a replacement for the 1988 Charter or merely a supplement to it is controversial.

Its military arm has carried out suicide bombings and other attacks since 1993 , most of which are directed against Israeli civilians and soldiers . It is legally classified as a terrorist organization by the European Union , the United States , Israel and other - including Arab-Muslim - states .

Since its election victory in 2006 and the civil war-like struggle for Gaza in June 2007 , which was largely perceived internationally as a Hamas coup, Hamas has been the government in the Gaza Strip .

International classification

Hamas is described by historians, political scientists and lawyers in most western countries as a terrorist movement. The following states officially define it as a terrorist organization or have distanced themselves from the organization:

Egypt In 2014, a court banned Hamas from operating nationwide in Egypt. In 2015, a court ruled Hamas’s military wing a terrorist organization.
Australia Hamas' military wing, the Izz-ad-Din-al-Qassam Brigades, is listed as a terrorist organization.
Germany The German Federal Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that Hamas was a unified organization whose humanitarian activities could not be separated from terrorist and political activities.
European Union Hamas is listed among the organizations that are restricted in order to fight terrorism. Due to inadequate procedural evidence, the European Court of Justice ordered the European Union in a ruling on December 17, 2014 to no longer include Hamas in the list of terrorist organizations. On July 26, 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled in favor of reclassifying Hamas as a terrorist organization by annulling the judgment of a lower court of December 17, 2014.
Israel The Israeli Foreign Ministry states that Hamas maintains a terrorist infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank and is keen to carry out terrorist attacks in the territories and Israel. (Hamas maintains a terrorist infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank, and acts to carry out terrorist attacks in the territories and Israel.)
Japan Said in 2005 that it had frozen the funds of terrorist organizations, including Hamas (terrorist organizations, including […] Hamas.)
Jordan Hamas was banned from 1999 to 2011, but Jordan later described the ban as a mistake.
Canada Hamas is described as a radical Sunni Muslim terrorist organization (a radical Islam Muslim terrorist organization) .
Austria In Austria, based on the assessment of the European Union, Hamas is also classified as a terrorist organization. Hamas symbols may not be worn or distributed in public.
United Kingdom The Iz-al-Din-al-Qassem Brigades are listed as a terrorist organization.
United States Hamas is listed as a foreign terrorist organization (" Foreign Terrorist Organization ").

Some countries do not classify Hamas as a terrorist organization or maintain contacts for other reasons:

Norway Norway was the first western country to recognize the short-lived Palestinian unity government composed of Hamas and Fatah in 2007. Norwegian representations met Hamas representations on several occasions. In response to an attempt by the US to discourage Norway from contacting Hamas, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre replied in 2006 that Norway knew that the US and the EU were legally obliged by their lists of terrorist organizations to discourage contact, but one had to do so Be able to decide independently. (We know that the USA and the EU have legal obligations since they have Hamas on their terrorist list. We must be able to take an independent decision about contact.)
Russia Russia has not declared Hamas a terrorist organization. It is the only major country that has had direct talks with Hamas since it won the Palestinian elections. Russia defends this stance by saying that it intends to put pressure on Hamas to reject violence and recognize Israel.
Switzerland The Switzerland maintains contacts with Hamas since they - like Norway - in the context of Swiss neutrality maintains contact with most actors in the Middle East. These contacts are not without controversy in Switzerland.
Turkey Turkey does not classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. Prime Minister Erdoğan described its members in 2010 as freedom fighters defending their country.
Organization for Islamic Cooperation The organization generally does not see militant attacks by people living under occupation as terrorism. The organization has 57 member states.
United Nations

On December 6, 2018, the US Ambassador to the United Nations , Nikki Haley , introduced a resolution to the General Assembly of the United Nations that was to condemn Hamas directly for the first time. The draft resolution said, among other things, that Hamas was inciting violence and that it had repeatedly fired rockets at Israel, thereby endangering civilians. It uses its resources in the Gaza Strip to build military infrastructure including tunnels for infiltration of Israel. 87 of the 193 countries represented in the General Assembly, including Germany, voted for the resolution on December 6, 2018, 58 against, 32 abstained. Before the vote on the US draft resolution, Kuwait, on behalf of the Arab states, called for the hurdle to be raised to a two-thirds majority. This proposal was approved with a very narrow majority. Although the majority had voted in favor of the resolution, the resolution was deemed rejected because the required two-thirds majority had not been achieved.


In 1946 the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood established a Palestinian branch in East Jerusalem . Many of the approximately 1,000 founding members took part in the Arab uprising in Palestine from 1936 to 1939. They declared the curtailment of the rights of Arab Palestinians a danger to all Muslims. They rejected the UN partition plan for Palestine from 1947 and then prepared an armed struggle against Jewish settlers, understood as jihad . These mujahideen took part in the 1948 Palestinian war between six Arab states against the newly founded Israel. After the defeat of the attackers and the influx of over 700,000 refugees into the territories conquered by Jordan and Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood there focused on gradually building a network for religious education, which they saw as a means of recovering the territories conquered by Israel. They taught Islam and return to the lost homeland as equally essential to Palestinian identity.

However, in the 1950s and 1960s, secular Arab nationalism dominated the ideas and programs of most Palestinian groups. They hoped to be able to militarily defeat Israel in a joint new war of all Arabs. Egypt suppressed nationalist and Islamist tendencies in the Gaza Strip it administered, but at the same time opened its universities to Palestinians, who received a cosmopolitan and multicultural education there. In the West Bank, which was now occupied by Jordan , the Muslim Brotherhood was apolitical and loyal to the royal family.

After Israel occupied these areas of Palestine in the Six Day War in 1967, the Palestinians had to reorganize again. The Muslim Brotherhood seized the opportunity to expand its organization in the Gaza Strip. They renounced political jihad and concentrated on the Islamization of their own society, for example by building numerous mosques and Koran schools . In doing so, it distinguished itself from secular, left-wing ideas that were understood as Western influences, such as those represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) founded in 1964 . To this end, Yasin founded the Al-Mujama organization in the Schati refugee camp in 1967, which generated its income with new fashion propagated as Islamic - headscarves and full-body veils for women, suits for men - and promoted the feeling of togetherness among Muslims dressed in this way. This group was organized in a strictly hierarchical manner and had departments for religion, welfare, education, social affairs, medicine and sports. It quickly expanded in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, trained and appointed mosque preachers, gave children and young people religious instruction, brokered contacts between rich and poor families, financed house repairs, volunteered to help with street cleaning and celebrations, offered and awarded handicraft courses for young women Scholarships to study Sharia law in Saudi Arabia , supervised youth theater groups, founded sports clubs and scout groups, organized sports tournaments and summer camps. It ran medical practices financed by donations, including a maternity ward, as well as a library and kindergartens. An arbitration committee mediated local disputes.

In 1974, PLO leader Yasser Arafat declared his willingness to recognize Israel if necessary. In response to this, the influence of fundamentalist Islam, such as Sayyid Qutb , grew at Egyptian universities. In 1976, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood under Yasin founded in Gaza City , the Islamic Center , which was in the following decade to power center of all Islamist groups and institutions in the Gaza Strip. Candidates from this center gradually gained leadership positions in professional associations, the University of Gaza, and other institutions previously dominated by left-wing nationalists. Through moral and social aid, the fight against corruption and community projects, the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza Strip gained a broad and solid base in the population.

In 1979, Israel allowed Al-Mujama and other local branches of this group. In the 1980s, Israeli authorities are said to have actively promoted the rise of Islamists in the Gaza Strip as a counterweight to Fatah . This was publicly discussed in Israel in the 1990s.

Inspired by the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1978, more radical Sunni Islamists split from the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and propagated the armed terrorist struggle, first against the regimes of Arab states that were considered pro-Western, then also against Israel to recapture all of Palestine. Radical Islamists of the Al-Jihad group persecuted in Egypt reached Gaza and founded the Al-talia al-islamiya ("The Islamic Vanguard") group there in 1981 , which competed with Al-Mujama with similar mobilization methods . Fatah also founded the armed “Brigades of Islamic Jihad” in the Gaza Strip and also promoted the “Islamic Group” in the West Bank. Islamists from this environment committed murder attempts on Israeli civilians in 1983.

The Islamic University in Gaza City, founded in 1978, came under Islamist leadership in 1983 after Al-Mujama supporters forcibly expelled the PLO president. In the same year, Yasin began, through secret cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood, to procure weapons in the West Bank in order to equip a sub-group of his Al-Mujama , the "Palestinian Holy Warriors". Some of his followers broke into an armory of the Israeli army; they found part of the booty during a search in Yasin's house. He was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment by a military court for preparing for the annihilation of Israel, but was released after 11 months during a prisoner exchange. In 1986 he founded the further armed sub-group al-Madschd : Its members were supposed to spy out and punish “un-Islamic behavior” of Palestinians. They remained anonymous, did not know and did not meet each other. In 1987 they carried out the first arson attacks on video stores, the owners of which they suspected of trading in pornography ; they later murdered Palestinians for allegedly collaborating with Israel. Yasin had threatened collaborators with the death penalty with a fatwa .

After the beginning of the First Intifada , the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood met on December 9, 1987 in Gaza City and decided to turn away from the previous political abstinence and to participate in the Intifada. One of their leaflets called on the people of the Gaza Strip on December 14, 1987 to "resist the Israeli occupation" and for the first time bore the signature of Ḥarakat al-muqāwama al-islāmiyya , still without the acronym HAMAS . Its founding was intended to protect the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood from losing power in the event of the failure of the Intifada. It was not until the fourth leaflet, which appeared on February 16, 1988, that the “Movement of the Islamic Resistance” revealed itself as the “powerful arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Alleged support from Israel

Some publications and individuals claim Israel's support for Hamas in the late 1980s. The Israeli professor of international relations at the University of Oxford in the UK, Avi Shlaim , wrote in The Guardian newspaper in early 2009:

"In the late 1980s, Israel had supported the nascent Hamas in order to weaken Fatah, the secular nationalist movement led by Yasser Arafat."

According to other sources, the collaboration falls into the period from 1967 to 1975, which Hamas calls the “mosque-building period” in its self-description. In a conversation with David Shipler , the former Middle East correspondent for the New York Times , the then Israeli military governor of the Gaza Strip, Brigadier General Yitzhak Segev , said that he had financially supported Hamas as an opponent of the PLO and the communists: “The Israeli government gave me a budget and the military government turned them over to the mosques. ”Shipler added in 2002,“ This early funding sowed the seeds of Hamas and other Islamic movements that were using terrorism to undermine the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. ”

The granting of financial aid from Israel to Hamas is categorically denied today by both sides. The journalist Ulrich W. Sahm gives a statement by the Israeli Brigadier General a. D. Shalom Harari in 2011 as follows:

“In December 1987 HAMAS was founded. To date, no officer or politician has provided him [ Shalom Harari ] with the desired proof [ of Israel's support for Hamas ]. He thinks it is a fairy tale that Israel wanted to create a political counterweight to the PLO with HAMAS. "


Founding Charter

On August 18, 1988, Hamas published its founding charter . It combines ideology and strategic considerations. According to Colin Shindler , lecturer in modern Jewish studies at the University of London , the charter is a synthesis of the imagery of the Koran , historical distortion of facts and unclouded anti-Semitism . Regardless of their counterfeit character, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are referred to several times in this document in order to create a demonizing character image of world Jewry .

2006: Hamas election poster in Ramallah. A “Palestine from the sea to the river” is called for on it

Article 8 contains the slogan of Hamas: " Allah is their goal, the Prophet their example, the Koran their constitution, jihad their way and death for God their greatest wish." For the charter, Palestine includes the entire region including Israel and parts of it Jordan . Israel is described as a “ Zionist entity”, whose “Islamic homeland” ( Waqf ) must never be left to non-Muslims because it was entrusted to the Muslims up to the day of judgment (Art. 11). Therefore it is the religious duty (fard `ain) of every Muslim to fight for the conquest of Israel. This ideology is justified theologically with quotations from the Koran. It denies Israel's right to exist and implies the dissolution of this state and every non-religious Palestinian administrative authority.

Hamas rejects negotiations and conferences as "wastes of time" and "futile efforts" that are unsuitable for the concerns of the Palestinians. They are "nothing more than a means to determine unbelievers as mediators in the Islamic countries". But for Palestine there is no other solution than jihad; "the neglect of any part of Palestine is tantamount to neglect of the Islamic faith". “So-called peace solutions and international conferences” are “in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic resistance movement” (Article 13).

The Charter therefore criticizes the PLO's secular agenda and its approval of UN resolutions 242 and 338 , with which the PLO recognized the State of Israel in 1988. On the other hand, the charter describes the PLO as the father, brother, relative or friend of the Islamist movement and stresses that it has the same goals, the same fate and the same enemy.

The charter only accepts other religions in the region under the “wing of Islam”. Only under him could "followers of other religions live safely and under the protection of way of life, property and rights". Without Islam, disunity would arise and injustice and corruption would flourish (Art. 6). Article 31 therefore says: Law and order would only prevail under the wing of Islam. The expression “under the wing of Islam” means that non-Muslims as dhimmi within an Islamic state are protected from persecution against the payment of a special poll tax ( jizya ) and are subject to their own authorities on religious issues (e.g. marriage , Divorce), but are considered second-class citizens to Muslims. This is expressed e.g. B. by the fact that their testimony is less valid in court, they are not allowed to carry weapons, etc.

Article 7 of the Charter declares the killing of Jews - not just Jewish citizens of Israel or Zionists - to be an absolute duty of every Muslim by making it a prerequisite for the coming of the Last Judgment :

“The hour of judgment will not come until Muslims fight and kill the Jews, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and every tree and stone will say, 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me 'come and kill him!' "

- Saheeh Muslim , book 41, number 6981, quoted in article 7

In Article 22, the charter adopts the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory of world Jewry that emerged in Europe as a fact: the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are genuine, the Freemasons , the Lions Club and the Rotary Club work secretly “in the interests of the Zionists”. The Jews are responsible for the French Revolution , "Western colonialism ", communism and the world wars : "There is no war where they do not have their fingers in the game ..."

Article 32 follows from this:

“Leaving the circle of conflict with Zionism is high treason. All who do this should be cursed. 'Whoever turns his back on them [...] draws the wrath of Allah, and his dwelling shall be hell ... (Koran, 8:16) "

- Article 32; at Baumgarten p. 224

World Zionism, in association with imperialist powers, is seeking through a sophisticated strategy to exclude the Arab states one after the other from the circle of fighters against Zionism, in order to then face the Palestinian people exclusively. For example, the insidious Camp David agreement made it possible to break Egypt out of the anti-Israeli front. Zionists strove for global expansion.


Political scientist Matthias Küntzel described the 2008 Hamas charter as “the most important manifesto of Islamism to this day”. Sari Nusseibeh , the Palestinian President of Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, assessed the anti-Semitic part of the charter in particular: It sounds like a direct quote from the Nazi propaganda paper Der Stürmer .

After its election success in 2006, there were various doubts whether the charter would still determine Hamas' positions. According to MEMRI , the original Arabic version of the Charter is difficult to find. A survey of Hamas activists and MPs by the Jerusalem Post found that many were unaware of the anti-Semitic statements of the Charter. Historian Khaled Hroub sees recent Hamas documents, such as its 2005 election manifesto, as deviating from positions in the founding charter. However, this has never been changed. Calls for the murder of Jews and the destruction of the Zionist structure by Hamas representatives showed that they are still pursuing the goals of the Charter.

Holocaust denial

In response to a January 2000 conference on the Holocaust in Stockholm, a Hamas text described the Holocaust as a Zionist falsification of history . Abd al-Aziz ar-Rantisi , one of the founders and meanwhile the leader of Hamas, described the Holocaust as the greatest of all lies, the propaganda that the Zionists spread through the media. He also stated that the murder of many Jews by the National Socialists had been supported by the Zionists in order to force the Jews to emigrate to Palestine. He also claimed that the Nazis received financial support from the Zionists.

In 2008, however, Bassem Naeem, the Hamas government's information and health minister in the Gaza Strip, distanced himself from Holocaust denial in a British newspaper article .

In 2009 and 2011, Hamas vehemently objected to the Holocaust being addressed in schools by UNRWA, a UN organization that runs schools in the Gaza Strip. In a statement by a Hamas spokesman for the Ministry of Refugee Affairs, it was said, among other things, that this would “poison the minds of students”.



Hamas is loosely structured in organizations that work both clandestinely and publicly in mosques and social aid agencies to recruit members, raise funds, and organize activities. Alongside the national Shūrā Council, the Political Bureau is the second central organ of the Hamas political arm. Hamas is particularly popular among Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. But it also finds support in the West Bank and, to a lesser extent, in other Middle Eastern countries (including Israel). This popularity is also based on their social services and the hope even long-time Fatah partisans and activists that Hamas will bring an end to corruption in the old Arafat party and thus a renewal of the political landscape possible.

Various Hamas organizations have used both political and violent (including terrorist ) means (such as suicide bombings) to achieve their political goals. Hamas regards all of these acts as legitimate “resistance” to the “occupying power” Israel. Various groups are represented in the military wing of Hamas:

  • the students of Ayyasch , the student units of the engineer Yahya Ayyasch (in memory of Yahya Ayyasch, responsible for the deaths of more than 50 Israelis; he was killed in 1996 by the Shin Bet with a prepared mobile phone),
  • the Izz-ad-Dīn-al-Qassām brigades or battalions (in memory of Sheikh Izz ad-Dīn al-Qassām , killed by the British in 1935).
  • the executive units , which were set up as a security force of around 6000 men (as of June 2007) by Ismail Haniyya , the prime minister of the Palestinian unity government appointed by Hamas in 2006. The executive units compete with the police, military and Fatah militia units controlled by President Mahmoud Abbas. This force was instrumental in Hamas' victory over Fatah in the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Hamas is constantly soliciting members in mosques and universities. An estimate is based on 80,000 members, the hard core of Hamas is estimated at 300 to 3,000 members. As far as gender distribution in the political leadership structures is concerned, the Political Bureau is exclusively made up of men, but women are integrated into external political structures: for example, Hamas women moved into local councils and the Palestinian Legislative Council after the 2006 elections .

Hamas and its sub-organization, the Qassam Brigades, are classified as a terrorist organization by the EU , Australia , Canada , Israel, the USA, Japan and other, especially western states . In 2003, the EU foreign ministers put Hamas itself and its political arm on the list of terrorist organizations. Since then, Hamas supporters can be prosecuted and their accounts frozen.

The authorities in Jordan closed the Hamas office in Amman in 1999 . The members of the Politburo were arrested and expelled. In April 2006, according to the Jordanian government, members of Hamas were arrested in Jordan who were supposed to carry out attacks in Jordan on the instructions of the Syrian exile leadership of Hamas. On Jordanian television, weapons caches were shown which, according to the authorities, had been set up by Hamas. In November 2011 the government described the expulsion as a mistake, and in January 2012 the head of the Hamas Politburo was officially received by the Jordanian king.


Hamas election campaign event in Ramallah with the killed role models Yasin and Rantisi on a poster

The co-founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmad Yasin , was deliberately killed on March 22, 2004 in a rocket attack by the Israeli air force as part of the so-called change of staff operation . A few days later, Yasin's deputy, the pediatrician Abd al-Aziz ar-Rantisi , was proclaimed the new “General Commander” in Gaza . Shortly afterwards he dived underground. Like Yasin, he took the view that terrorist attacks were a legitimate means “in the liberation struggle against Israel”. Less than a month after his rise to Hamas leader on April 17, 2004, both Rantisi and Yasin were deliberately killed by the Israeli army. Rantisi stood for the radical wing of the organization and had rejected the Hudna (temporary armistice) in the summer of 2003. He became known as the spokesman for 400 fighters deported to Lebanon and through his contacts with Hezbollah and Iran .

In response to the targeted killings by the Israeli military, Hamas no longer appointed the organization's sole leader. In the following years, the Syrian capital Damascus was the new control center . The influential head of the Hamas Politburo, Khalid Maschal , stayed there. While another Hamas leader, Mahmud al-Zahar , is known as a hardliner, Ismail Haniyya , who was prime minister during the Palestinian government of national unity from 2006 to 2007, is considered a moderate pragmatist and less influential. The commander in chief of the Hamas military wing in Gaza was Ahmed al-Jabari until 2012, succeeding Mohammed Deff . Another high-ranking member is Usama al-Mazini , who is considered a religious leader.

During the Israeli Operation Cast Lead , major divisions and disputes over direction emerged within the organization.

In the wake of the civil war in Syria , the entire exile leadership of Hamas left the country in early 2012. The chairman of the Hamas Politburo, Khalid Maschal, moved to Qatar , his deputy Mussa Abu Marzouk to Cairo . Hamas cut all ties with the Syrian government and sided with the rebels. At the same time, Qatar and - until the upheaval in 2013 - Egypt with the election victory of the Muslim Brotherhood have become important supporters.

In May 2017, the Hamas shura elected Ismail Haniyya, previously deputy to Khalid Maschal, as the new chairman of its political office.


Like its predecessor, the Muslim Brotherhood , Hamas was financed directly and indirectly by various states, including Saudi Arabia and Syria , during the 1970s and 1980s . Today, financial resources come from exiled Palestinians, Iran and private supporters from Arab states. Funding and propaganda activities are also taking place in Western Europe and the United States.

Ever since the West stopped financing the Palestinian government - Arab banks are not paying Hamas any money because of the US boycott threat - Hamas has been trying harder to bring cash into the country. On May 19, 2006, for example, Sami Abu Zuhri, spokesman for Hamas, was detained at the border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. He had 900,000 euros in cash with him. A few days earlier, Foreign Minister Mahmud Asahar was stolen from Kuwait with half a million euros. The EU had taken control of the borders of the Gaza Strip against arms smuggling and intrusion, a condition of the Israeli state for withdrawal from the autonomous region . As a result of the border incident, movements of the Qassam Brigades, a militant wing of Hamas, were observed at the border crossing.

The following organizations are suspected of supporting Hamas financially in Europe: the Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP) in France, the Association de Secours Palestinien (ASP) in Switzerland, The Palestine Relief and Development Fund (Interpal) in Great Britain, the Palestinian Association in Austria (PVÖ), Sanabil Al-Aqsa in Sweden and the Al-Aqsa Foundation in Germany, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands. The organizations were named by the US Treasury Department and the EU in 2003. In his "101 Days Campaign" in 2000 , Yusuf al-Qaradawi collected the support of over fifty aid organizations, in addition to the aforementioned also from "Muslim Aid", the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), the " International Islamic Relief Organization " (IIRO) and the Turkish İHH . The umbrella organization of these aid organizations was founded in 2001 under the name "Bund des Guten" or Union of Good ( Arabic ائتلاف الخير i'tilāf al-Chair ). It is under the leadership of al-Qaradawi and was listed in November 2008 in Executive Order 13224 of the US Treasury as an organization in support of terrorism.

Members of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood living in Germany founded the “Islamic Federation of Palestine” (IBP) at the Islamic Center in Munich in 1981 . From the first Intifada in 1987 to around 2003, he openly represented Hamas' positions. The IBP, which is not a registered association itself, has around 300 members and used the “Islamic Culture and Education Center Berlin e. V. “(IKEZ), where the 19th annual IBP congress took place in June 2000. The IBP collected over the 1991 Aachen founded association " al-Aqsa. V. “also donations to support the Intifada . Federal Minister of the Interior Otto Schily banned the association as a terrorist organization on August 5, 2002 . The investigators then searched the club's premises and the apartments of board members and confiscated the club's assets in accounts in Aachen and Cologne amounting to 300,000 euros. On December 3, 2004, the Federal Administrative Court confirmed the legality of the ban. The association was dissolved. On September 5, 2005, the successor organization “Yatim Kinderhilfe e. V. “prohibited in Essen.

The " Palestinian Association in Austria " (PVÖ), founded in 1993, was designated by the US Treasury as a Hamas aid organization in August 2003 and, according to American information, is headed by the Austrian representative of Hamas. In the context of the - ultimately unsuccessful - Austrian judicial prohibition proceedings, the PVÖ came more into the public eye and has not collected any donations since 2003. During the same period, the “Palestinian Humanitarian Association” (PHV) was formed, which partly uses the same addresses as the PVÖ, but appears less publicly and states that the purpose of the association is to carry out humanitarian aid. In 2006 the PHV claims to have transferred 784,470 euros to Palestinian charities or directly to families in need. While the CIA assumes that the PHV supports Palestinian organizations associated with Hamas, the PHV chairman said he ruled that out. According to the register of associations , the chairman of the PHV is Hani Abdelhalim and the chairman of the PVÖ Adel Doghman (alias Abu-al-Baraa, Adil Abdullah or Abu Barah). Both are employed by the Islamic Faith Community as teachers of Islam. In March 2007, Doghman organized the “First European Palestinian Youth Camp in Vienna”, to which over 100 mostly Palestinian youth from several European countries traveled. Doghman denied any connection with Hamas in a 2006 interview.

In Turkey, under the Erdoğan government, numerous NGO conferences “in support of Palestine” are taking place, which, following the publication of cables from US embassies by WikiLeaks, are used to collect donations for Hamas.

According to a report by Forbes Israel, Hamas ranks second among the richest terrorist organizations in the world, with annual sales of US $ 1 billion.

In August 2016, various media reported that the head of World Vision Gaza, Mohammed el-Halabi, was arrested in Gaza. After 50 days in Israeli state custody, he was charged with supporting Hamas. In his role as an employee of World Vision / Gaza, he has passed on up to 45 million euros to Hamas in recent years instead of for aid projects in Gaza (an amount that would be larger than World Vision's entire Gaza budget during this period Time). This has built tunnels and made weapons purchases. Mohammad pleaded not guilty to any of the charges against him. In response to the allegations, the governments of Australia and Germany suspended further aid to World Vision.

public relation

In addition to traditional print media, Hamas also uses radio, television and the Internet for its public relations work. To this end, Hamas founded the company Al Ribat Communications and Artistic Productions, with Fathi Ahmad Hammad as managing director.

After the successful election result for Hamas in the Palestinian parliament, Hamas founded a satellite channel " Al-Aqsa TV " (also known as "Hamas TV"). It is headed by Fathi Ahmad Hammad. The program mainly contains propaganda content such as ideologically oriented children's programs, talk shows and religiously inspired entertainment.

The Hamas-operated radio station "Voice of Al Aqsa" is directed by the chief director Ibrahim Hence . Hamas also publishes the newspapers "Al-Risalah" (or "Al-Risala") and "Falastin" twice a week. These Hamas newspapers have been banned in the Fatah-controlled West Bank since 2007.

Development until 2006

In line with the founding charter, Hamas rejected the Madrid Middle East Conference in 1991 and the Oslo peace process as “betrayal of the will of God”. She also claims that Arafat and Abbas received nothing for recognizing Israel.

In 1993 Hamas carried out the first suicide attack in Israel, and from 1994 also against civilians. According to their own statements, the Israeli military remained the primary target until 2000. Since the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000, Hamas has started targeted terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. The number of suicide attacks rose from an average of three to 20 per year. Hamas justified the wave of attacks in 1994 as revenge for the Baruch Goldstein mass murder of 29 Palestinians in Hebron in February 1994 and was careful to always pass all further suicide attacks in Israel as retaliation for Israeli targeted killings of Palestinian civilians. She claimed that all Israeli civilians should be considered "military targets" because of their conscription .

The Israeli Foreign Ministry registered a total of 425 Hamas terrorist attacks between September 27, 2000 and 2004, killing 377 Israelis and injuring 2,076 Israeli civilians and soldiers. Among them were 52 suicide attacks with 288 killed and 1,646 injured Israelis. Another twelve suicide attacks failed. Numerous explosive devices exploded in public places such as shopping malls, underground car parks, restaurants and high-rise buildings. Usually the civilian population was the target of the attacks. Few were considered to be facilities of the Israeli army.

Hamas officials welcomed the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US and hoped they would induce the US to reduce support for Israel. Hamas distances itself from al-Qaida in public statements ; not least so as not to become the target of anti-terrorist measures by the US government. The ceasefire negotiated in 2002 as part of the roadmap between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and militant Islamist groups came to an end after just two months with an attack in Jerusalem , which Hamas announced.

On the occasion of the Iraq war in March 2003, Hamas called on all Muslims on the Internet to protest against the "tyrannical and crusader aggression" of the USA and Great Britain and to boycott the products of these states . A Hamas spokesman appealed to the people of Iraq to provide "tens of thousands of martyrs " to blow themselves up in the midst of American soldiers. The FBI and the US Department of Justice issued a warning in April 2004 about Hamas cells on US territory.

In 2004, Hamas agreed to a 10-year truce ( hudna ) only if certain demands were met, including full Israeli withdrawal from territories conquered in 1967. Since September 2004, Hamas itself has generally abstained from violence against Israel, but believes that "Israel is the cause of all terrorism" and describes the shooting of Israel with Qassam rockets by other militant groups as an act of " self-defense ". After a ceasefire agreed on February 8, 2005, Hamas itself officially ceased to carry out attacks. Hamas has justified attacks by other groups since it won the election in 2006, for example the suicide attack of a 15-year-old from Jenin on April 17, 2006 in Tel Aviv, which left eight people dead and over 60 injured.

Development since 2006

Since 2006, Hamas has participated in the democratic elections in the Palestinian territories and in the elections for the Chamber of Commerce of the West Bank, contrary to its previous opposition . The later Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmud al-Zahar made it clear in interviews before and during the election that Hamas had not given up its goals: it was part of a global Islamic movement that was destined to found an Islamic state. The conquest of Palestine must be the first step in this direction. “In the region we had to defy Roman occupation, Persian occupation, the Crusader occupation and the British occupation. They are all gone. The Israeli enemy does not belong in this region. It does not fit into regional history, geography or belief. "

In the January 25, 2006 election, Hamas received around 44 percent of the vote and an absolute majority of the seats. After the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmad Qurai ( Fatah ), she was entrusted with forming a government. Western observers cited increasing radicalization in the decades-long unresolved Palestinian conflict, the social commitment of Hamas and the Palestinians' frustration at the corruption that was widespread under Fatah as reasons for their election victory.

After Hamas won the election, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice assured the official President of Palestine and Fatah chairman Mahmoud Abbas that she would support the US government and at the same time rejected a dialogue with Hamas. The US and the EU stopped their previous financial aid for Palestinian government agencies because Hamas did not recognize Israel's right to exist and was not a suitable partner for the peace process. In September 2006, the Hamas government resigned and agreed to a government of national unity with Fatah. EU payments were then resumed. This coalition should also help overcome the increasingly violent tensions between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas member Ismail Haniyya became prime minister .

After a misdirected Israeli attack on a residential area near Beit Hanun in the Gaza Strip, which left 24 dead, Hamas declared the ceasefire over on November 8, 2006 and announced that it would carry out attacks in Israel again. The military wing of Hamas called for US targets to be attacked all over the world because the US offered political and financial logistics to the “Zionist occupation crimes” and was responsible for the “massacre”. Therefore, the people and the nation around the world must teach a "hard lesson" to the US enemy. Government spokesman Ghazi Hamad said at the same time that Hamas has no plans to attack US targets.

The fight for Gaza ended the ruling coalition between Hamas and Fatah. After weeks of bloody clashes between their militiamen, Hamas armed groups attacked Fatah headquarters on June 12, 2007, after which they took control of the entire Gaza Strip . Numerous Fatah members were killed or forced to flee to neighboring regions. Abbas deposed Haniyya as prime minister and formed an emergency government in the Fatah-controlled West Bank without Hamas involvement. Abbas was supported by the USA, the EU and the Arab League . Hamas rejected the dissolution of the government as unlawful, but without relinquishing sole control of the Gaza Strip.

Human rights organizations accused both sides of the conflict with serious violations of fundamental human rights and war crimes such as the execution of prisoners, the shooting of civilians, fighting in hospitals and the misuse of ambulance and press vehicles for combat missions. In general, the human rights situation and the living conditions of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip deteriorated significantly after Hamas came to power. Press and civil rights were no longer guaranteed, and internet cafes and restaurants were closed. According to the human rights organization Amnesty International , there has been an increase in arbitrary arrests, torture and ill-treatment of political opponents. There has also been a sharp increase in rocket attacks on Israeli territory.

Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic Archbishop and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal called for a dialogue with Hamas in August 2007. Even if Israel and the USA described Hamas as terrorist, one must take note of their successes in the Gaza Strip. Thanks to Hamas, one can see that the time of chaos is over, said Twal. The movement is taking action against crime with iron discipline. There are no more thefts, they even respect the traffic lights.

Chalid Maschal

In the summer of 2008, after Egyptian mediation, there was a six-month ceasefire, which Hamas leader Khalid Maschal described as a "tactic" in the fight against the Jewish state. After the fragile ceasefire expired, Hamas rocket attacks on Israel flared up again, leading to Israel's Operation Cast Lead .

Behind the scenes, Hamas is supporting Islamic Jihad with rocket deliveries, which is bombing southern Israel with them. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote on April 13, 2007 that Hamas had also delivered Russian Grad rockets with a range of 16 kilometers. Israeli security sources believe that Hamas is pursuing a strategy of duality that includes maintaining the current situation, including the general ceasefire. As a basis for this strategy, other Palestinian terrorist organizations, regardless of the ceasefire, would continue to act violently against Israel.

In April 2008, the former US President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jimmy Carter traveled to Damascus and met there privately with Hamas chief Khalid Maschal, who is in exile in Syria . He presented the results of the talks on April 21, 2008 at a press conference in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declined to speak to Carter because he did not want to be involved in negotiations with Hamas. According to Carter, "there is no doubt that the Arab world and Hamas would accept Israel's right to exist within the limits valid until 1967". It also said that Hamas would accept a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement even if it disagreed with individual points, provided the Palestinians would accept it in a referendum . In the course of the same day, however, Khalid Maschal confirmed that Hamas still refuses to recognize Israel. At the same time, he offered Israel a ten-year truce.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya described the May 1, 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan as a continuation of American oppression and the bloodshed of Muslims and Arabs. Hamas pray that bin Laden's soul will rest in peace. On May 3, 2011, Ismail Haniyya signed a reconciliation agreement with Mahmoud Abbas, which the Egyptian leadership had drawn up a year and a half earlier on behalf of the Arab League and which Hamas had long rejected. Both groups planned to form a joint transitional government before the 2012 parliamentary elections. Palestinian political experts attributed this step to the Arab uprisings since the beginning of 2011. The new Egyptian foreign ministry then announced that it would permanently open the border crossing at Rafah and thus end the Israeli blockade . After the removal of Islamist President Mursi by the Egyptian military in July 2013, the border crossing was closed.

Since Hamas last had to stand for elections in 2006 and since then there has been no more domination-free discourse in the Gaza Strip, its power is no longer based on any kind of democratic legitimation, but on the fear of its own people and the prestige from the last war. Detainees on remand are brought to confessions through torture such as pulling out their toenails or hanging them by their arms for hours. A gallows is then available in the basement of the maximum security prison in Gaza to carry out the death penalty. The reputation of being significantly less corrupt than Fatah is also waning. According to Human Rights Watch , peaceful critics and opposition activists are systematically tortured in Hamas' sphere of influence.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Hamas  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Hamas  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Own texts and quotes

Individual evidence

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