Hamas

The launching of IED balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory

During the first half of January 2020 a decision was made in the Gaza Strip to renew the launching of balloons, which had stopped in March 2019. Since the decision was put into practice dozens of balloons have been launched into Israeli territory.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 15 – 21, 2020)

This past week the security situation in the Gaza Strip heated up with the renewal of IED balloon launchings into Israeli territory, on almost a daily basis. In ITIC assessment Hamas is behind the renewal of IED balloon launchings. On January 15, 2020, four rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. In Judea and Samaria this past week there were two stabbing attacks
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Despite the lull process in the Gaza Strip, sporadic rocket fire into Israeli territory continues, and incendiary balloon and IED terrorism has been renewed as a means of exerting pressure on Israel.

This past week the security situation in the Gaza Strip heated up: four rockets were fired into Israeli territory, two of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system, and two fell in open areas. In addition, the launching of incendiary and IED balloons has been renewed (after stopping almost completely around March 2019). Moreover, the Night Harassment Units intend to renew their activity shortly if no progress is made in implementing the lull arrangement.
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News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (January 14-8, 2020)

This past week as well no return march was held in the Gaza Strip. Several dozen Palestinian demonstrators gathered near the border fence in two locations. This past week the Sons of al-Zawari unit announced that it was renewing its activities. The Palestinian terrorist organizationsissued a joint announcement about their visits to Tehran and participation in Qassem Soleimani's funeral.." In the Gaza Strip the terrorist leadership continued eulogizing Soleimani and referring to the great contribution he and Iran had made to the construction of the Palestinians' military capabilities.
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Palestinian Terrorism, 2019: Overview and Trends

Two main trends in attacks characterized Palestinian organized and popular terrorism in 2019: in Judea and Samaria, the annual decline in the scope of popular terrorism and its lethality continued; in the Gaza Strip there was a significant rise in the scope and intensity of terrorism and violence, especially rocket fire. In 2019 1,403 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel, an almost unprecedented number (with the exception of Operation Protective Edge, 2014).
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Initial Palestinian reactions to the killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force

Contrary to the reactions of senior Iranian officials and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who did not relate to Israeli as being involved in the attack, senior Hamas and PIJ figures accused Israel of collaborating with the United States in the killing. Some even accused Israel of direct responsibility for Soleimani's death. However, Hamas and PIJ spokesmen were careful not to overtly threaten Israel. The London-based newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that senior Hamas figures had made it clear to Egypt that they had not interest in an escalation in the Gaza Strip in the wake of the killing of Soleimani (al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 5, 2020).
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Hamas

Hamas is a fundamentalist Sunni Muslim organization founded in the Gaza Strip in 1987 by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. It seeks to establish an Islamic state on the entire territory of the State of Israel and does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.


The Hamas leadership has two branches: the internal leadership, which includes the military wing and the de-facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, responsible for the day-to-day activities of governing the Gaza Strip population, in addition to social, educational activity vis-à-vis the population of the Gaza Strip; and the external leadership, Hamas’s political bureau, located beyond the borders of the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria. The external leadership maintains relations with various countries and bodies, and deals mainly with raising money and finding other resources for Hamas in the Gaza Strip.


Hamas’s ideology seeks to establish an Islamic Palestinian state on the entire territory of Israel. The preferred way to achieve this goal is through armed struggle. Hamas has a military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which carries out terrorist attacks against Israel, including rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and various kinds of other attacks (such as shooting, suicide bombings, abductions etc.) in the territories of Judea, Samaria and Israel.


Over the years, Hamas has challenged the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, causing conflicts between the sides, culminating in June 2007 with Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip and the suppression of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority members. Ever since, the rift between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority has grown.

Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including Israel, the United States, and the European Union.