HAMAS By DASH
To understand the origins of HAMAS, we must first look at the origins of the Israel and Palestine conflict, and the result in the divide of the Palestinian people. The history of what is now Israel and Palestine dates back to the Ottoman empire, and the dispute is centred around the area that extended in the north-south direction typically from Rafah which is south-east of Gaza to the Litani River which is now in Lebanon. We are primarily concerned by the more recent events, more specifically from 1947 to present. Previous to 1947 the British controlled the territories, in what history refers to as the British Mandate.
On the 29th of November 1947 the United Nations General Assembly voted 33 to 13 with 10 no votes, in favour of dividing the territory into two separate states, one for Arab population and the other for the Jewish population. The Jewish parties accepted the proposal, the Arab factions supported by other Arab states and countries did not. ...view middle of the document...
Jordan and Israeli forces fought over control of Jerusalem. On the 11th of June, a cease fire was agreed by the warring factions. Israeli military commanders used this to reorganise and reinforce its military forces. The outcome was that with its reinforcement cycle complete the Israeli forces were able to seize several territories and more importantly a road that linked Jerusalem to Israel.
The territories were split in three, Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank. The territories would shift again the most notable being in 1967 in the six day war, when Israel captured the West bank and east Jerusalem and also the Gaza strip from Egypt.
In 1964 at the Cairo summit the Arab league decided to form a group that represented the Palestine people. As a result the Palestine Liberation Organisation was formed June 2nd. The PLO under Yasser Arafat tried its best to help the Palestinian cause. But the occupation continued until the mid 1980’s when the first intifada occurred.
In 1987 in what is referred to as the first intifada, Palestinians began a series of protests against the Israeli occupation. A series of demonstrations and graffiti and boycott of taxes, acts of terrorism were used. It is widely accepted the PLO were not gaining any ground, and that they were not representing the Palestinian people. As a result Palestinian members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood seized their chance to do something. As a result HAMAS was formed.
The word HAMAS (حماس) roughly translated in Arabic means “enthusiasm, zeal, élan or fighting spirit. However it is an acronym for Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamat al-Islāmiyyah حركة المقاومة الاسلامية which translated means “Islamic Resistance Movement”. The three founding members of Hamas, were Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi and Mohammad Taha. All three were members of the Muslim brotherhood. The brotherhood was a group which existed all over the Middle East, it was designed to bring religion into people lives, and use it as a way to improve society. As a result of these connections HAMAS founders were able to utilise various people and assets to help establish itself in the uprising fairly quickly, due to its Muslim Brotherhoods connections. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin is usually credited as the founder of HAMAS, for the reason he chaired the meeting in which HAMAS was created.