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Hamas Resists Pressure as Israel Targets Arafat

NCJ Number
Jane's Intelligence Review Volume: 14 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2002 Pages: 12-15
David Eshel
Date Published
January 2002
2 pages
This analysis of the Islamic Resistance Movement known as Hamas focuses on the movement’s development and current structure.
Hamas officially began on December 11, 1987. The movement’s ideological origins lie in the Muslim Brotherhood that began in Egypt during the 1920’s and formed cells in the occupied territories after the 1967 Six Day War. Militant Islamic groups in the occupied territories gathered strength during the 1980’s. The formation of Hamas marked a significant change in the previously passive role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the anti-Israeli campaign. Hamas’s first military apparatus was called the Mujahideen. A new generation of leaders emerged from the complex structural system of the founders and the organization soon began to grow. The structure of Hamas has changed significantly and continues to change due to constant Israeli counterterrorist activities targeting the group’s top military and political leadership. The current infrastructure rests on a combination of regional and functional cells, with several identical and parallel frameworks in the West Bank and Gaza regions. The organization’s security section began in 1986. Hamas receives regular funding from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, and Iran. Hamas has been gaining steadily in its political power in the Palestinian territories as the current Intifada has continued. The organization’s capabilities have grown since its formation despite the arrest, deportation, and assassination of many of its leaders at different times. Photographs and figures