Question: What is Hamas?
The Hamas emblem shows two crossed swords, the Dome of the Rock, and a map of Palestine which includes present-day Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. What is this movement's reason for existence?
Answer: Hamas is a militant anti-peace process organization bent on Israel's total destruction and the establishment of a Palestinian State - an Islamic theocracy - in Israels place. Hamas, an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyya (Islamic Resistance Movement), corresponds to an Arabic word which meaning enthusiasm, fire, zeal, fanaticism.
Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the co-founder of Hamas, said the goal of Hamas is "to remove Israel from the map." Hamas uses both political activities and violence to pursue this goal.
The movement provides welfare and social services to the Palestinian poor. And Hamas has been responsible for the majority of terrorist attacks against Israel since the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993.
The most infamous Hamas attack was the bombing during a Passover Seder in an Israeli hotel dining room. Hamas receives its primary funding from Iran, and the movement makes generous payments to the families of suicide bombers.
Hamas is listed as a terrorist group by the European Union, Canada, the United States, and Israel. Hamas attacks targeting Israeli civilians and human rights abuses have been condemned by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. (Jihad is a Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle against infidels.) The initiative, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility. The Palestinian people are too noble to have their future, their right and their destiny submitted to a vain game...
"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it . Hamas regards Nationalism (Wataniyya) as part and parcel of the religious faith. Nothing is loftier or deeper in Nationalism than waging Jihad against the enemy and confronting him when he set foot on the land of the Muslims. And this becomes an individual duty binding on every Muslim man and woman; a woman must go out and fight the enemy even without her husband's authorization, and a slave without his master's permission....
In the general elections of January 2006, sponsored by the Bush administration, Hamas obtained a clear and undisputed victory. Hamas, in its first-ever run for Parliament, won 76 of the 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Fatah won 43 seats, and independent lists took the other 13. The landslide Hamas victory was a surprise to the United States, Israel and Hamas itself.