History of Hamas - 1987—The Founding of Hamas

1987—The Founding of Hamas

See also: First Intifada

In 1987, several Palestinians were killed in a traffic accident involving an Israeli driver, and the events that followed–a Palestinian uprising against Israel's West Bank and Gaza occupation–led Yassin and six other Palestinians to found Hamas as an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. The new group was supported by Brotherhood-affiliated charities and social institutions that had already gained a strong foothold in the occupied territories. The acronym "Hamas" first appeared in 1987 in a leaflet that accused the Israeli intelligence services of undermining the moral fiber of Palestinian youth as part of Mossad's recruitment of what Hamas termed "collaborators." Nonetheless, Israeli military and intelligence was still focused on Fatah, and continued to maintain contacts with Gaza Islamic activists. Numerous Islamist leaders, including senior Hamas founder Mahmoud Zahar, met with Yitzhak Rabin as part of "regular consultations" between Israeli officials and Palestinians not linked to the PLO.

Hamas carried out its first attack against Israel in 1989, abducting and killing two soldiers. The Israel Defense Forces immediately arrested Yassin and sentenced him to life in prison, and deported 400 Hamas activists, including Zahar, to South Lebanon, which at the time was occupied by Israel. During this time Hamas built a relationship with Hezbollah.

From 1987 to 1991, Hamas campaigned for the wearing of the hijab alongside other measures, including insisting women stay at home be segregated from men, and the promotion of polygamy. In the course of this campaign women who chose not to wear the hijab were verbally and physically harassed, with the result that the hijab was being worn 'just to avoid problems on the streets'.

Read more about this topic:  History Of Hamas

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