110 Facts About Hamas


Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist, militant, and nationalist organization.

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Hamas was founded in 1987, soon after the First Intifada broke out, as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood which in its Gaza branch had previously been nonconfrontational toward Israel and hostile to the Palestine Liberation Organization .

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Co-founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin said in 1987, and the Hamas Charter affirmed in 1988, that Hamas was founded to liberate Palestine, including modern-day Israel, from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state in the area that is Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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Hamas rejected those conditions, which led the Quartet to suspend its foreign assistance program and Israel to impose economic sanctions on the Hamas-led administration.

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In March 2007, a national unity government headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas was briefly formed, but this failed to restart international financial assistance.

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Tensions over control of Palestinian security forces soon erupted in the 2007 Battle of Gaza, after which Hamas took control of Gaza, while its officials were ousted from government positions in the West Bank.

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Hamas is an acronym of the Arabic phrase or, meaning "Islamic Resistance Movement".

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Hamas' declared objectives are to liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation and transform the country into an Islamic state.

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Hamas inherited from its predecessor a tripartite structure that consisted in the provision of social services, of religious training and military operations under a Shura Council.

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Hamas has both an internal leadership within the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and an external leadership, split between a Gaza group directed by Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook from his exile first in Damascus and then in Egypt, and a Kuwaiti group under Khaled Mashal.

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Communication between the political and military wings of Hamas is difficult, owing to the thoroughness of Israeli intelligence surveillance and the existence of an extensive base of informants.

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The principle behind the council is based on the Qur'anic concept of consultation and popular assembly, which Hamas leaders argue provides for democracy within an Islamic framework.

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Hamas developed its social welfare programme by replicating the model established by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

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Hamas has been called perhaps the most significant social services actor in Palestine.

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Hamas became particularly fastidious about maintaining separate resourcing for its respective branches of activity—military, political and social services.

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Much of the money raised comes from sources that direct their assistance to what Hamas describes as its charitable work for Palestinians, but investments in support of its ideological position are relevant, with Persian Gulf States and Saudi Arabia prominent in the latter.

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About half of Hamas's funding came from states in the Persian Gulf down to the mid 2000s.

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The US has expressed concerns that Hamas obtains funds through Palestinian and Lebanese sympathizers of Arab descent in the Foz do Iguacu area of the tri-border region of Latin America, an area long associated with arms trading, drug trafficking, contraband, the manufacture of counterfeit goods, money-laundering and currency fraud.

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The Israeli government has allowed millions of dollars from Qatar to be funneled on a regular basis through Israel to Hamas, to replace the millions of dollars the PA had stopped transferring to Hamas.

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Hamas claimed to have warned his superiors not to back the Islamists.

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Hamas continued to expand the reach of his charity in Gaza.

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Hamas published its charter in August 1988, wherein it defined itself as a chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood and its desire to establish "an Islamic state throughout Palestine" .

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The short-term goal of Hamas was to liberate Palestine, including modern-day Israel, from Israeli occupation.

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At the time, Shehade and Sinwar served time in Israeli prisons and Hamas had set up a new group, Unit 101, headed by Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, whose objective was to abduct soldiers.

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Hamas reorganized its units from al-Majd and al-Mujahidun al-Filastiniun into a military wing called the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades led by Yahya Ayyash in the summer of 1991 or 1992.

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Ayyash, an engineering graduate from Birzeit University, was a skillful bomb maker and greatly improved Hamas' striking capability, earning him the nickname al-Muhandis .

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Hamas ordered two car bombs in retaliation for the deportation.

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Hamas leaders likened their rooting out of collaborators to what the French resistance did with Nazi collaborators in World War II.

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Hamas claimed responsibility for both attacks which were the first suicide bombings in Israel.

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In late December 1995, Hamas promised the Palestinian Authority to cease military operations.

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Hamas resumed its campaign of suicide bombings which had been dormant for a good part of 1995 to retaliate the assassination.

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In 1999 Hamas was banned in Jordan, reportedly in part at the request of the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.

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Hamas would be the beneficiary of this growing discontent in the 2006 Palestinian Authority legislative elections.

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Hamas boycotted the 1996 Palestinian general election and the 2005 Palestinian presidential election, but decided to participate in the 2006 Palestinian legislative election, the first to take place after the death of Yassir Arafat.

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Hamas ran on a platform of clean government, a thorough overhaul of the corrupt administrative system, and the issue of rampant lawlessness.

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Hamas won 76 seats, excluding four won by independents supporting Hamas, and Fatah only 43.

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The EU's promise was short-lived; three months later, in violating of its core principles regarding free elections, it abruptly froze financial assistance to the Hamas-led government, following the example set by the US and Canada.

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Hamas assumed the administration of Gaza following its electoral victory and introduced radical changes.

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In early February 2006, Hamas offered Israel a ten-year truce "in return for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories: the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, " and recognition of Palestinian rights including the "right of return".

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Mashal added that Hamas was not calling for a final end to armed operations against Israel, and it would not impede other Palestinian groups from carrying out such operations.

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In 2006 after the Gaza election, Hamas leader sent a letter addressed to George W Bush where he among other things declared that Hamas would accept a state on the 1967 borders including a truce.

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Since then, Hamas has continued building a network of internal and cross-border tunnels, which are used to store and deploy weapons, shield militants, and facilitate cross-border attacks.

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Hamas agreed to cease rocket attacks on Israel, while Israel agreed to allow limited commercial shipping across its border with Gaza, barring any breakdown of the tentative peace deal; Hamas hinted that it would discuss the release of Gilad Shalit.

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Israeli sources state that Hamas committed itself to enforce the ceasefire on the other Palestinian organizations.

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Hamas responded the following day by announcing a one-week ceasefire to give Israel time to withdraw its forces from the Gaza Strip.

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In 2011, after the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, Hamas distanced itself from the Syrian regime and its members began leaving Syria.

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In 2012, Hamas publicly announced its support for the Syrian opposition.

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Khaled Mashal said that Hamas had been "forced out" of Damascus because of its disagreements with the Syrian regime.

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Hamas has complained about the slow delivery of reconstruction materials after the conflict and announced that they were diverting these materials from civilian uses to build more infiltration tunnels.

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In 2016, Hamas began security co-ordination with Egypt to crack down on Islamic terrorist organizations in Sinai, in return for economic aid.

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In May 2017, Hamas unveiled its new charter, in an attempt to moderate its image.

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Between 2018 and 2019, Hamas participated in "the Great March of Return" along the Gaza border with Israel.

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Al-Aqsa TV is headed by Fathi Ahmad Hammad, chairman of al-Ribat Communications and Artistic Productions—a Hamas-run company that produces Hamas's radio station, Voice of al-Aqsa, and its biweekly newspaper, The Message.

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When Hamas won a majority in the 2006 Palestinian legislative election, Haniyeh, then president-elect, sent messages to both George Bush and Israel's leaders asking to be recognized and offering a long-term truce, along the 1967 border lines.

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Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has stated that the Charter is "a piece of history and no longer relevant, but cannot be changed for internal reasons".

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The document clearly signaled that Hamas could refer the issue of recognizing Israel to a national referendum.

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In 1989, during the First Intifada, a small number of Hamas followers campaigned for the wearing of the hijab, which is not a part of traditional women's attire in Palestine, for polygamy, and insisted women stay at home and be segregated from men.

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Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, some of its members have attempted to impose Islamic dress or the hijab head covering on women.

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In 2013, UNRWA canceled its annual marathon in Gaza after Hamas rulers prohibited women from participating in the race.

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In 2005, the human rights organization Freemuse released a report titled "Palestine: Taliban-like attempts to censor music", which said that Palestinian musicians feared that harsh religious laws against music and concerts will be imposed since Hamas group scored political gains in the Palestinian Authority local elections of 2005.

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In 2005, an outdoor music and dance performance in Qalqiliya were suddenly banned by the Hamas led municipality, for the reason that such an event would be forbidden by Islam, or "Haram".

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Some Hamas members stated that the model of Islamic government that Hamas seeks to emulate is that of Turkey under the rule of Tayyip Erdogan.

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Yusuf described the Taliban as "opposed to everything", including education and women's rights, while Hamas wants to establish good relations between the religious and secular elements of society and strives for human rights, democracy and an open society.

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Hamas has made conflicting statements about its readiness to recognize Israel.

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In reaction to the Stockholm conference on the Jewish Holocaust, held in late January 2000, Hamas issued a press release that it published on its official website, containing the following statements from a senior leader:.

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In February 2011, Hamas voiced opposition to UNRWA's teaching of the Holocaust in Gaza.

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In October 2012, Hamas said that they were opposed to teaching about the Holocaust in Gaza Strip schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency.

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The Refugee Affairs Department of Hamas said that teaching the Holocaust was a "crime against the issue of the refugees that is aimed at canceling their right of return".

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Hamas has used both political activities and violence in pursuit of its goals.

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For example, while politically engaged in the 2006 Palestinian Territories parliamentary election campaign, Hamas stated in its election manifesto that it was prepared to use "armed resistance to end the occupation".

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Hamas has defended suicide attacks as a legitimate aspect of its asymmetric warfare against Israel.

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In 2003, according to Stephen Atkins, Hamas resumed suicide bombings in Israel as a retaliatory measure after the failure of peace talks and an Israeli campaign targeting members of the upper echelon of the Hamas leadership.

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Hamas delivered an address on behalf of Khaled Mashal at the conference of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in Istanbul, a move that might reflect a desire by Hamas to gain leverage.

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Hamas officials have said that the rockets were aimed only at military targets, saying that civilian casualties were the "accidental result" of the weapons' poor quality.

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From January 2009, following Operation Cast Lead, Hamas largely stopped launching rocket attacks on Israel and has on at least two occasions arrested members of other groups who have launched rockets, "showing that it has the ability to impose the law when it wants".

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In February 2010, Hamas issued a statement regretting any harm that may have befallen Israeli civilians as a result of Palestinian rocket attacks during the Gaza war.

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Israel responded that Hamas had boasted repeatedly of targeting and murdering civilians in the media.

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In 2010, Hamas, who have been actively sidelined from the peace talks by Israel, spearheaded a coordinated effort by 13 Palestinian militant groups, in attempt to derail the stalled peace talks between Israel and Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority.

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Hamas continued by saying that nobody on Earth "will be able to confront the resistance, or to confront the mujahideen, those who worship Allah and seek martyrdom".

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Hamas has made great use of guerrilla tactics in the Gaza Strip and to a lesser degree the West Bank.

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Hamas has used IEDs and anti-tank rockets against the IDF in Gaza.

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Hamas has been accused of providing weapons, training and fighters for Sinai-based insurgent attacks, although Hamas strongly denies the allegations, calling them a smear campaign aiming to harm relations with Egypt.

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Hamas is accused of helping Morsi and other high-ranking Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members break out of the Wadi Natroun prison in Cairo during the 2011 revolution.

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Egypt stated that Hamas directly provided logistical support to the Muslim Brotherhood militants who carried out the December 2013 Mansoura bombing.

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Hamas challenged this decision, which was upheld by the European Court of Justice in July 2017.

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Hamas is not regarded as a terrorist organization by Iran, Russia, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, China, Egypt, Syria, and Brazil.

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FBI and United States Department of Justice stated, in 2004, that Hamas threatened the United States through covert cells on U S soil.

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Hamas has reportedly maintained operational and financial ties with al Qaeda.

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Israel said that Hamas frequently used mosques and school yards as hideouts and places to store weapons, and that Hamas militants stored weapons in their homes, making it difficult to ensure that civilians close to legitimate military targets are not hurt during Israeli military operations.

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Israeli government filed a report entitled "Gaza Operations Investigation: Second Update" to the United Nations accusing Hamas of exploiting its rules of engagement by shooting rockets and launching attacks within protected civilian areas.

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Hamas said that the mortar killed 42 people and left dozens wounded.

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Israel said that Hamas militants had launched a rocket from a yard adjacent to the school and one mortar of three rounds hit the school, due to a GPS error.

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Human Rights Watch program director Iain Levine said the attacks by Hamas were "unlawful and unjustifiable, and amount to war crimes", and accused Hamas of putting Palestinians at risk by launching attacks from built-up areas.

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Human Rights Watch investigated 19 incidents involving 53 civilian deaths in Gaza that Israel said were the result of Hamas fighting in densely populated areas and did not find evidence for existence of Palestinian fighters in the areas at the time of the Israeli attack.

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The Hamas government confirmed the "punitive measure against doctors" because, in its view, they had incited other doctors to suspend services and go out on strike.

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In September 2007 the Hamas government banned public prayers after Fatah supporters began holding worship sessions that quickly escalated into raucous protests against Hamas rule.

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In October 2008, the Hamas government announced it would release all political prisoners in custody in Gaza.

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Hamas used to be strongly allied with both Iran and Syria.

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Hamas contacted Jordan and Sudan to see if either would open up its borders to its political bureau, but both countries refused, although they welcomed many Hamas members leaving Syria.

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Qatar's reason for funding Hamas, which is shared by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is alleged that Islamist groups are growing and will eventually play a role in the region; thus it is important for Qatar to maintain ties.

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Husam Badran, current media spokesman for Hamas, was the instigator of several of the deadliest suicide bombings of the second intifada, including the Dolphinarium discotheque bombing in Tel Aviv, which killed 21 people.

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Turkey has been criticized for housing terrorists including Saleh al-Arouri, the senior Hamas official, known for his ability to mastermind attacks from abroad.

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Hamas acknowledges however that giving to the Palestinian people means using Hamas as the local contact.

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In March 2015, Hamas has announced its support of the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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In May 2018, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted to the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu that Hamas is not a terrorist organization but a resistance movement that defends the Palestinian homeland against an occupying power.

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Hamas reaffirmed support from China to the Palestinian people's right to establish an independent state.

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Public opinions of Hamas have deteriorated after it took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

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Hamas popularity surged after the war in 2014 with polls reporting that 81 percent of Palestinians felt that Hamas had "won" that war.

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Hamas was ordered to pay the families of the Ungars $116 million.

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German federal court ruled in 2004 that Hamas was a unified organisation whose humanitarian aid work could not be separated from its "terrorist and political activities".

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