Who is Hamas?
Hamas, an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah (Islamic Resistance Movement), emerged as a Palestinian militant and political entity during the First Intifada in 1987. It encompasses a military faction known as the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
Hamas articulates its primary objective as the liberation of Palestine, encompassing present-day Israel, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state across the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.
Israel, the United States, Canada, the European Union, among others, have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization, attributing this status to its extensive history of hostile acts, including suicide bombings and rocket assaults targeting both civilian and military entities.
Post its takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas’ rule has been characterized by internal conflicts, particularly with the Palestinian faction Fatah, and a blockade enforced by both Israel and Egypt.
Origins of the Recent Conflict:
On October 7, 2023, under the banner of “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” Hamas unleashed over 5,000 rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip within a 20-minute timeframe, followed by a coordinated assault via land, air, and sea.
Hamas combatants breached deep into Israeli-held regions, targeting military bases and temporarily occupying several settlements.
The offensive led to over 1,200 Israeli casualties, including more than 120 soldiers, with an additional 200 Israelis taken hostage into the Gaza Strip.
This unanticipated offensive by Hamas triggered a substantial Israeli military response on Gaza, marking the onset of the current conflict.
Gaza Al-Ahli Arab Hospital Bombing
- Several surveillance videos and an Al Jazeera livestream showed rocket launches at the time.
- The rapidity with which Hamas claimed 200 or 500 dead. There is no reason to believe this number.
- Images of damage on the ground are more consistent with a fire rather than an explosion from a missile.