What is Hamas and why did it attack Israel?

October 7, 2023 was a Jewish holiday when the Hamas which controls the Gaza strip attacked Israel making it the most violent fighting in the region in decades, resulting in the deaths of many people. The Hamas launched a series of rocket strikes which hit the major cities of Israel and it also sent waves of fighters across the borders of southern Israel, killing hundreds of people and taking the captives back to Gaza.

But what do the Hamas group actually signify or who are they?

Hamas or the Islamic Resistance Movement is a militant group which governs the Gaza strip and has its headquarters in Gaza. The Gaza strip is 25-mile-long, densely populated enclave. Hamas emerged as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood during the first Palestinian uprising which they also call as intifada in 1987 against the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas does not recognize the existence of Israel and is regularly committed to replacing it through their armed struggle with a Palestinian state. The Hamas military group was established in December, 1987 by Sheik Ahmad Yassin and in the same year, they declared that liberating Palestine from Israeli occupation was the religious duty of every Muslim.

The subsequent attacks by Hamas were a well-planned and strategized plotting by the Hamas military group. This blood shedding attack comes to a surprise for Israel but it comes after months of worsening tensions over the violence at al-Aqsa Mosque which is a deeply respected holy site in the heart of Jerusalem as well as it is the result of the punishing blockade and occupation of Palestinians by Israel.

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