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  Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades


  Description: A man in a kaffiyeh (headdress), at the center of an ivory circle, holds an M-16 rifle in his right hand and a Quran in his left. Behind him is a green flag with the Shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith, written on it. The Al Aqsa Mosque is at the center of the circle in the background. The green lettering above is a Quranic verse: “You did not kill them, but God killed them.” Below, in red, is the group’s name, “Izzedine al-Qassam Martyr Brigade.”

Explanation: The al-Aqsa Mosque in the background is an icon of Islamic Palestinian solidarity and nationalism. The Quran emphasizes the Islamic ideology of IQB and of Hamas. The Shahada (“there is no God but God”), the Islamic declaration of faith, which also denotes devotion to Islam, is written on the flag and on the head band over the man’s kaffiyah, a traditional Palestinian headdress. The M-16 rifle demonstrates militancy.

| Name Variations | Overview | Focus of Operations | Major Attacks | Leaders | Ideology | Goals | Methods | Sponsors | U.S.- Related Activities |

Name Variations
  • The Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades is Hamas's military wing. The name Izzedine may be written as Azzedine or Ezz-a-Dine (Izzedine al-Qassam was a militant Muslim cleric in early 20th century Transjordan who was killed in 1935.)
The Izzedeen al-Qassam Brigades (IQB) is the well armed military wing of Hamas, the Islamic terrorist movement that has governed the Gaza Strip since January 2006. The IQB seeks to conquer all of Israel, “from the south of Beer Sheva to North of Beit She’an,” by carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel, including suicide bombings, rocket attacks, shootings and kidnappings.

Focus of Operations
West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Syria

Major Attacks
  • November 15, 2006: One person was killed and 5 others injured when 19 Qassams were fired from Gaza into Sderot.
  • June 28, 2004: A 4-year-old boy was killed when a rocket fired by the IQB landed in his nursery school in Sderot.
  • September 9, 2003: Suicide bombing at Tzrifin hitchhiking post: 8 killed, 30 wounded.
  • March 27, 2002: Suicide bombing at the Park Hotel in Netanya on Passover: 30 killed, 140 injured (al-Qassam Brigades).
  • August 9, 2001: Suicide bombing at Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem: 15 killed, 130 injured.
  • June 1, 2001: Suicide bombing at Dolphinarium nightclub in Tel-Aviv: 21 killed, 120 injured.
  • Current Leader: Mohammed Deif
  • Former spiritual leader: Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (killed)
Radical/Militant Interpretation of Islam

  • Destruction of Israel
  • Establishment of an Islamic state "over every inch of Palestine"
Suicide bombings and paramilitary operations against civilian and military targets.

Hamas, which receives funding from Iran, Syria and various Gulf states; private donors around the world

U.S.-Related Activities
  • See Hamas Symbol
  • Designated by the U.S. as a Foreign Terrorist Organization


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