What is Hamas and it's role in Israel- Palestine Conflict?
Hamas: Why in the News?
After the airstrikes, Hamas also pressed on the idea of launching rockets from civilian areas in Gaza toward civilian areas in Israel.
The death toll in Gaza has risen overnight to 119 Palestinians, including 31 children and 19 women as per Gaza’s health ministry.
1/2— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 17, 2021
Hamas deliberately hides military targets in residential buildings and civilian areas.
When we plan a target, we dedicate resources to minimize civilian harm. These measures depend on feasibility, available resources, time & available information. pic.twitter.com/BBPVNNTUvI
Gaza based terrorist group Hamas is of the belief that it has already managed to score points with the Palestinians regardless of the end of the current conflict. Take a look at the tweets below:
The target: The Hamas ‘Metro’ tunnel system in Gaza.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 14, 2021
The operation: 160 aircraft, tanks, artillery and infantry units along the border.
We struck 150 targets and damaged many kilometers of the Hamas ‘Metro’ network. pic.twitter.com/otn7JKxB9c
Israel said that it was facing the same past as Palestine and one must not expect the other to bring about change.
Palestine is divided into Gaza strip and West Bank( situated west of dead sea). Take a look at the Map below showing Israel- Palestine in biblical times and current times.
Take a look at the current position of Palestine:
When and how was Hamas formed?
- The protest initially began in Jerusalem.
- The tensions escalated because in the Gaza strip where Hamas has been prevalent attacked various parts of the country.
- In the year 1989 Palestine Liberation Organization declared the area to be free and under the Palestinians.
- Until 1948, Palestine typically referred to the geographic region located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
- Palestinians understood that they needed a political solution when Israel gained power. Fatah, an organization was formed to initiate a political solution to the issue. Fatah was formed in 1950, which is now led by Mohd. Abbas.
- Fatah was liberal but in 1987, a radical organization Hamas came into being against Fatah. It promoted Muslim brotherhood.
- There was division observed between Palestinian movement then itself.
- It was in the year 1987, when the First Intifada broke out. It was due to Palestinian anger over occupation of Gaza and the West Bank by Israel. Palestinian militia groups revolted, and hundreds of people were killed.
- Then, a subsequent peace process, called the Oslo Peace Accord, was initiated during the early 1990s to end the ongoing violence.
- Oslo I did the work of creating a timetable for a Middle East peace process along with a plan for an interim Palestinian government in parts of Gaza and the West Bank.
- An agreement was signed in 1993 in the presence of the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Palestinian Legislative Council was formed and two elections have been carried out since then.
- In the 2006 elections 132 seats were fought for. Hamas gained political power in Gaza strip and West Bank areas. Hamas wanted to win Israel and won 73 seats. Fatah won only 45 seats. In 2021 elections were announced again. So after the beginning of firing of rockets leading to a conflict many people wanted to know the real intentions of Hamas.
Gains of Hamas in current conflict:
- Hamas has now successfully hijacked the protests that erupted between Palestinians and Israel Police in Jerusalem in the beginning of Ramadan. Mohd Deif, commander of wing of Hamas, issued a threat against Israel over protests. Many Palestinians even in Jerusalem began chanting slogans and praised Hamas.
- Hamas decision to fire rockets at Jerusalem has enabled it to present itself as a very credible Resistance Group. They present themselves as those people who would do anything to support the Palestinians in Jerusalem. They say they are protecting Asqa Mosque compound from being Judaized.
- Hamas has gained popularity in the eyes of many Palestinians.
- Hamas has been successful to draw attention to President Mahmoud Abbas and his incompetence. Hamas showed him as a weak leader.
- Now Hamas has achieved the centre stage in negotiations with Egyptian, Qatari and United Nations mediators.
Hamas: Way Forward
It is said that Hamas lost the power to show its influence through the ballot box after the elections were postponed by Mahmoud Abbas. They were set to take place on May 22 and July 31, 2021. Now through these current events Hamas has shown that it is the leading player in Palestinian arena and is popular among the population.
It is expected that when the next elections would take place Hamas would enter the fray with an upper hand. It is also expected that Jerusalem would be the main theme of Hamas in contesting the next elections. It would be acting as a defender of al-Asqa mosque and a liberator of Jerusalem.