Hamas

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (November 6 – 9, 2019)

Before dawn on November 12, 2019, the IDF carried out a targeted attack killing Bahaa Abu al-Atta, commander of the northern Gaza Strip brigade of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). During the two days of the round of escalation (November 12 and 13, 2019), about 560 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel. The IDF responded by attacking PIJ targets. American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States recognized that the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in Judea and Samaria "is not per se inconsistent with international law
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Summary of the Most Recent Round of Escalation in the Gaza Strip

Before dawn on November 12, 2019, the IDF carried out the targeted killing of Bahaa Abu al-Atta, commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's (PIJ) north Gaza Strip brigade. In the meantime an attack was carried out in the al-Mazzeh neighborhood of Damascus, in which the son of Akram al-Ajouri, a senior PIJ figure, was killed. Israel did not claim responsibility for the attack in Damascus, but the PIJ linked it to the killing of Bahaa Abu al-Atta in the Gaza Strip.
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The Latest Round of Escalation in the Gaza Strip: What Next? (Initial Assessment)

The most recent round of escalation is the eighth significant round since the return marches began on March 30, 2018 (see the Appendix). An analysis of the previous rounds of escalation revealed that the most recent one was different in three main aspects
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The Escalation in the Gaza Strip (An overview updated to 15:00, November 13, 2019)

Massive rocket fire at Israel from the Gaza Strip continues. Since the beginning of the events, between 300 and 350 rockets have been fired (as of noon, November 13, 2019). Most of the rockets were fired at the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip and at Israel's south. According to the IDF spokesman, 90% of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system. About 60% fell in open areas.
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Escalation in the Gaza Strip: Massive rocket fire at Israel after the targeted killing of a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad military commander (Updated to 14:00, November 12, 2019)

Before dawn on November 12, 2019, Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked a building in the Sajaiya neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip. Bahaa Abu al-Atta, the commander of the northern brigade of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and his wife were killed in the attack.( For a portrait of Bahaa Abu al-Atta, see Appendix A).
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Yahya al-Sinwar gave a belligerent speech warning Israel that Hamas and the Palestinian people would not accept the continuation of the “siege” of the Gaza Strip, saying, “We can no longer bear it and our patience is at an end.”

On November 4, 2019, Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, gave a speech before Palestinian youngsters in the Gaza Strip (considered a very important target audience). The speech, which was belligerent and assertive, elaborated on the course of actions of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations (the so-called "resistance") had taken during the past two years and indicated the challenges facing them.
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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.