Background/Overview of Group
Hamas was founded in 1987 from the first Palestinian uprising. The two founders of Hamas are Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi and Ahmed Yassin. Their mainly located in the Gaza Strip and certain areas of the West Bank. Hamas have conducted many anti-Israel attacks in Israel and the Palestinians territories since the 90s. The group won legislative elections in 2006 in Palestinian territories.
The current leader of Hamas is Khaled Mashal. He was chosen after one of the founders, Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi was assassinated in 2004 due to Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mashal was a teacher in Kuwait from 1978 to 1984. He only began working with Hamas when Iraq invaded Kuwait during the Gulf War. They recruit people by targeting deeply religious young men. The recruits undergo intense religious indoctrination, attend lectures, and participate in long fasts.
Some of the long term goals Hamas is trying to accomplish are not as clear as some other groups. One of their goals is to have a Palestinian ruled Israel. They are also trying to strengthen in the West Bank like they did in the Gaza Strip. Some of their motives are to attract Muslim jihadists from all over the world to act out jihadism against Israel and worldwide Jewish targets.
Some of the significant things Hamas has done is attack Israel mostly because of the conflict that has been going on for many years. Most of the time the method they use is through bombings with rockets. Currently Muslim leaders are asking Hamas to return the bodies of IDF soldiers. They sent a letter to Khaled Mashal to give back the bodies of those killed in a 2014 Gaza Strip conflict.
Hamas has been successful with their attacks on Israel because they are involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel sees them as threat since both groups are constantly going back and forth with one another. Israel tried to contain Hamas. In June 2008 Hamas entered a six month agreement with Israel to reduce the amount of rocket attacks. They stopped for only a little bit and then resumed the attacks. Israel then destroyed much of Hamas' infrastructure on the Gaza Strip in December 2008.