Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist militant movement that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007. Launched close to 5,000 rockets at Israel, claiming more than 1,200 people and injuring around 2,800 people even though Hamas is a weaker force than Israel. A weaker force such as Hamas was able to secure weapons of mass destruction which means that the militant group has a strong backer in Iran.
Hamas launched the most gruesome and brutal attack that Israel has faced in decades. They overpowered the Israeli sophisticated security system and its famous intelligence. Hamas invaded Israel by air, land, and sea, massacring thousands of people and taking hundreds as captives.
The horror of Hamas was yet to end as with each passing hour, the death toll kept increasing due to the brutality of the terrorist organization. In retaliation, Israel is reluctantly bombarding the Gaza Strip which has been under the rule of the militant group since 2007.
The odd thing is, that Hamas is a group that has been significantly weaker than Israel yet they have such vast resources to cause such destruction and chaos. One of the possible and realistic explanations is that there is someone who is backing them.
The Way Hamas Operates
In 2006, the Israeli military made the decision to withdraw from Gaza, where elections were held where Hamas became victorious and formed a government with Fatah which is the party that governs 40 percent of the West Bank.
In 2007, the government that Hamas and Fatah created together collapsed and Hamas took full control of the Gaza Script. Since 2007, there have been no elections since then.
The objective of Hamas is to establish an independent Palestinian state as it denies any possibility of peace with Israel and desires the destruction of Israel which they have started acting on. The grotesque and brutal act that they committed was worse than anything that Israel has faced in the past few decades. They used violence to achieve their aim which included cross-border raids using tunnels and shot rockets across the Gaza border.
It has been reported that the senior Hamas leaders are operating out of Qatar and some from Turkey. Their previous hosts have been said to be from Syria but Hamas had a fallout with Damascus after Palestinian refugees participated in the uprising Syrian Civil War.
The One Who Funds Hamas
One of the countries that are funding Hamas is Iran. According to the US government report from 2020 has said that Iran provides up to $100 million on an annual basis in combined support to Hamas and some other smaller scale ones such as the Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.
Hamas’ political leader Ismail Haniyeh revealed that Iran paid a total of $70 million to the Palestinian group to help it develop missiles and defense systems in an interview with Al-Jazeera last year.
Turkey has been supporting Hamas which has been reported to be more of a political front but a foreign bank in Istanbul has been financing Hamas.
Meanwhile, around 80 percent of Gaza’s population of 2 million depends on humanitarian aid. Tel Aviv has allowed Qatar to provide millions of dollars in aid to Gaza through Hamas. Other aid reaches the strip through the United Nations or U.N. and the Palestinian Authority.