Overview: Hamas is a Palestinian political and militant group founded in 1987. It is designated as a terrorist organisation by several countries, including the United States, the European Union, and Australia. Hamas has been involved in rocket attacks, suicide bombings, and other forms of violence aimed at Israeli targets.
- Historical Context: The state of Israel was established in 1948, leading to tension and conflicts with neighbouring Arab countries and Palestinian groups.
- Hamas Formation: Hamas, a Palestinian group, was founded in 1987 with an initial charter aimed at the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of an Islamic state in place of Israel.
- Terrorist Designation: The USA, Israel, and several other countries classify Hamas as a terrorist organisation, citing attacks against civilian targets and the use of suicide bombers.
- Gaza Control: Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after a conflict with the Fatah faction. Since then, Gaza has been under de facto Hamas rule.
- Rocket Attacks: Hamas has frequently launched rocket attacks into Israeli territory, which Israel cites as a significant security concern.
- Defensive Operations: Israel has conducted multiple military operations in Gaza, aimed at halting rocket fire, destroying tunnel networks, and targeting Hamas leadership.
- Iron Dome: The USA has supported Israel's development and deployment of the Iron Dome missile defence system, which intercepts incoming rockets from Gaza.
- Civilian Impact: The dense urban environment of Gaza means that Israeli strikes can result in civilian casualties, though Israel asserts it takes measures to minimise them.
- Peace Efforts: There have been multiple attempts, with U.S. involvement, to broker peace agreements or ceasefires between Israel and Hamas, but lasting peace remains elusive.
- Strategic Partnership: The USA and Israel share a close strategic partnership, based on shared democratic values, mutual security concerns, and economic ties.
NOTE THIS FROM 2022: 17 FEB 2022 ABC AUSTRALIA--Hamas to be listed in entirety as a terrorist organisation by Australian government - ABC News ..........The military wing of Hamas was already listed by Australia, but the federal government will now join the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel and others in extending the designation to the fundamentalist Islamic group's political branch.