In his UPI report, Richard Sales describes the events leading up to Israel’s declaration of Hamas as a terrorist organization. In June, 2002, Hamas took credit for a suicide blast in Jerusalem that killed 19 Israelis and wounded 70. The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, took credit. Before this event Hamas played a very different role in the politics between Israel and the Palestinians. After it, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared it a terrorist organization, "the deadliest terrorist group that we have ever had to face." The history of this shift is politically intriguing.
According to Sales, several current and former U.S. intelligence officials say that in the late 1970s Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas as a more friendly group to counterbalance the generally hostel Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The move attempted to divide support for the PLO, a secular group, by using Hamas, a more socially and religiously oriented organization—an identity that would change over time.
Hamas evolved from cells of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928. After the 1967 Six Day War, it became the cornerstone of the social, religious, educational and cultural infrastructure, called Da'wah, that worked to ease the hardship of Palestinian refugees. Hamas’s influence eventually grew to be political, with strong religious Islamic tones and ties favorable to groups which wanted to set up an Islamic state much like Iran’s. ...Show more