A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

BAAD - Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) - 2012


Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement)

Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni Islamist group formed in 1987, following the first Intifada, a Palestinian protest against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.[1] Formed by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza and the West Bank, the 1988 Hamas charter called for the use of violence to achieve their objectives,[2] which included establishment of an Islamic society within historic Palestine and destruction of the state of Israel, and the replacement of the Palestinian Authority in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[3] Despite this, in 1999 Hamas agreed to discontinue hostilities if Israel agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.[4]

Hamas began using suicide bombers in April 1993, five months before the Oslo Accords were signed by Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Hamas still opposes the Oslo Accords, which established the current Palestinian Authority and control for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[5]

Khaled Meshaal currently leads Hamas after assuming leadership in 2004. Its armed wing is the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, created in 1991. The wing carries out most of the physical attacks perpetrated by Hamas and stands as the group’s military force.[6] Hamas also has a security branch known as the Executive Force, formed in 2006 in order to counter Fatah forces after their election into government.[7]

The group entered government after winning 76 out of 132 seats, and gained control over the Palestinian Authority legislature and cabinet, ruling out the previously dominated Fatah Party.[8] Hamas, installed Prime Minster Ismail Haniyeh. Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Fatah Party, retained his position as President. However, clashed between the groups broke out in 2007.In 2014, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation pact that ended seven years of conflict, as well as created an interim government until parliamentary and presidential elections could be held.[9]

In addition to tax revenues and "import duties," Hamas finances itself through private donations, Islamic charities, and Palestinian expatriates.[10] Such transfers generally pass through the "Union of Good," which networks with various donor organizations.[11] Additionally, the Iranian government sponsored the group until about 2011 or 2012, ending due to differences of opinion in supporting the Asad regime.[12] View full narrative

Quick Facts for 2012


605 (Total of 1998 through 2012)

Religious, Ethnic, Separatist

Approximately 10,000-20,000

Territorial Control:
Controls Territory (1)

Funding through Drug Trafficking:

Sorry, but there are no organizational details available for this group at this time.


Primary Ideology

  • Ag = Anti-Globalization
  • An = Anarchist
  • En = Ethnic
  • Ev = Environmental
  • Le = Leftist
  • Re = Religious
  • Ri = Rightist
  • Se = Separatist
  • Su = Supremacist
  • Vi = Vigilante


  •  Ally
  •  Suspected Ally
  •  Rival
  •  Violence
  •  Mixed Relations


  •  Blue 0 - 1479 fatalities
  •  Green 1479 - 2958 fatalities
  •  Yellow 2958 - 4437 fatalities
  •  Orange 4437 - 5916 fatalities
  •  Red 5916 - 7396 fatalities

Lethality is calculated as the total number of fatalities from 1998-2012.


Icon sizes depict approximate relative sizes of the organizations.

  • Smallest 0 - 10 members
  •   11 - 100 members
  •   101 - 1000 members
  •   1001 - 10000 members
  • Largest > 10000 members

Other Notes

Icons with no color coding or ideology icon have no detailed data at this time, and are provided as relationship information only.