TheBlaze’s national security adviser Buck Sexton broke down everything you need to know about Hamas — from its founding to the present day — in a web exclusive released Friday.
“Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Sexton explained. “It was founded by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a cleric and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood himself.”
Sexton said Yassin founded in Hamas in 1987, during the first intifada.
“In 1988, Hamas established a charter, a mission statement,” Sexton continued. “It said that its goal is to raise the flag of Allah over every inch of Palestine. Well, that’s a problem, because when they say Palestine, they mean Israel.”
Hamas has engaged in violence since its founding, he explained, though it only started utilizing suicide bombings in 1993.
“Since then, Hamas has also engaged in a variety of terrorist tactics, including firing rockets into civilian areas, kidnappings, knife attacks, car bombings. It seeks out civilian casualties and believes that is part of its resistance against the Israeli state,” Sexton said.
“But it was during the second intifada … that suicide bombings and daily terror attacks perpetrated by Hamas became a fact of daily life for the Israeli people,” the former CIA analyst added. “To prevent another round of suicide bombing inside Israel, the Israelis built a wall, a barricade, that now separates Israel proper from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
Click on the info-graphic below for a more detailed timeline:
Hamas’ response, Sexton noted, was “to lob missiles and rockets into Israel as a means of inflicting terror on the Israeli population.”
“Hamas refuses to recognize Israel or take part in the peace process. It seeks out civilian casualties to this day. In fact, it believes that seeking civilian casualties is an essential part of its resistance,” he said. “The U.S. first designated Hamas an FTO, a foreign terrorist organization, in 1997. But not every country — Turkey, Russia, and many Arab states — considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization at all.”
“If Hamas continues to direct violence against innocent civilians for a political purpose, which is the very definition of terrorism, well, don’t we have to call Hamas what it is?” Sexton concluded. “A terrorist organization.”