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Israel's Operation in Gaza: An ADL Backgrounder RULE Hamas' Ultimate Goal

Posted: January 22, 2009

Israel's Unilateral Cease Fire
Israel's Goal: To Defend its Citizens
Israel's operation targeted Hamas' infrastructure
Israeli precautions to avoid harming civilians in Gaza
Hamas Campaign of Terror
The Humanitarian Situation
Hamas' Ultimate Goal
Israel's Commitment to Peace

Hamas is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization that calls for the eradication of the State of Israel. Both the United States and the European Union have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Hamas (the Arabic acronym for Harakat Al-Muqawama Islamiya fi Filistin, or the Islamic Resistance Movement in Palestine) was established in 1988 by Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, then a preacher with the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza. Its ultimate goal is the establishment of an Islamic Palestinian state ruled by Islamic theocratic law in place of the State of Israel. The Hamas covenant, issued in 1988, is replete with anti-Semitism, and echoes the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion with charges Jews with an international conspiracy to gain control of the world. In Hamas' world-view, Islamic precepts forbid a Jewish state in the area known as Palestine, and the Jewish people have no legitimate connection to the land of Israel. As its covenant proclaims, "The land of Palestine is an Islamic trust... It is forbidden to anyone to yield or concede any part of it... Israel will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it..." To this end, the leaders of Hamas have denounced compromise with Israel as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

Hamas continues to hold hostage Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped on June 25, 2006, from a military installation near Kibbutz Kerem Shalom in southern Israel. In the attack, two soldiers were killed and three wounded. Hamas has continued to refuse to provide information as to Cpl. Shalit's health and condition.

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More: Israel Strikes Back: Resources and Information from ADL

Frequently Asked Questions About Israel's Actions in Gaza

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