The History of Hamas is an account of the Palestinian Islamist fundamentalist socio-political organization with an associated paramilitary force, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Hamas (حماس) Ḥamās is an acronym of حركة المقاومة الاسلامية Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamat al-Islāmiyyah, meaning "Islamic Resistance Movement".
Hamas was established in 1987, and has its origins in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, which had been active in the Gaza Strip since the 1950s and gained influence through a network of mosques and various charitable and social organizations. In the 1980s the Brotherhood emerged as a powerful political factor, challenging the influence of the PLO, and in 1987 adopted a more nationalist and activist line under the name of Hamas. During the 1990s and early 2000s, the organization conducted numerous suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel.
In the Palestinian legislative election of January 2006, Hamas gained a large majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament, defeating the ruling Fatah party. After the elections, conflicts arose between Hamas and Fatah, which they were unable to resolve. In June 2007, Hamas defeated Fatah in a series of violent clashes, and since that time Hamas has governed the Gaza portion of the Palestinian Territories, while at the same time they were ousted from government positions in the West Bank. Israel and Egypt then imposed an economic blockade on Gaza and largely sealed their borders with the territory.
After acquiring control of Gaza, Hamas-affiliated and other militias launched rocket attacks upon Israel, which Hamas ceased in June 2008 following an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire. The ceasefire broke down late in 2008, with each side accusing the other of responsibility. In late December 2008, Israel attacked Gaza, withdrawing its forces in mid-January 2009.
Read more about History Of Hamas: Early Islamic Activism in Gaza, 1987—The Founding of Hamas, The 1990s, The Second Intifada, 2004—A 10-year Truce, 2005—Israel's Unilateral Disengagement Plan, January 2006—Winning The Legislative Election, Brief Timeline
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