Hamas in Arabic means “zeal.” In early December 1987, members of the Muslim Brotherhood attended a meeting the day after an Israeli army truck crashed into a car carrying four Palestinian day-workers, who died.
Moral outage followed with Palestinians throwing rocks, followed by strikes and shutdowns in Gaza.
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a Muslim cleric, hosted that 1987 meeting at his home where the decision was made to issue a leaflet on December 14, 1987 calling for resistance as the First Intifada uprising against Israel.
When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Hamas began importing rockets, explosives and other equipment from Iran. The arms were shipped via Sudan, transported across Egypt and smuggled into Gaza through tunnels beneath the Sinai Peninsula.
Iranian weapons and funds were sent to other regional paramilitary allies, highlighting Tehran as the commanding center for Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Gaza.
Some of the the "Shi'ite axis" extended from Shi'ite paramilitaries in Iraq, to Hezbollah in Lebanon to Syria's ruling minority Alawite.
But, the nexus of Iran's militia network undoubtedly is Hezbollah - conceived at the Iranian embassy in Damascus in 1982 after Israel invaded Lebanon during the 1975-90 civil war.
Hezbollah bombed U.S. targets, killed US Marines, and ran hostage-taking operations and hijacking agendas, and drove Israel out of Lebanon in 2000. Today, Hezbollah holds strategic power at certain levels in Lebanon.
Iran co-opted Hamas in 1992 after Israel deported about 400 Hamas leaders to Lebanon. Iran and Hezbollah have hosted Hamas members, trained them militarily, and taught them how to build suicide bombs.
The stated purpose of Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel was to win the release of all 5,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, halt Israeli raids on Al Aqsa mosque, and lift a 16-year-old blockade of Gaza.
The stakes are very high not just for the Middle East but for the rest of the world. The demonstrations on Friday have proven that there is a generation supporting the Palestinians and distinguishing the difference between Hamas and Palestinians.
While no world leader claims to want to widen this conflict, Israel has called for Gaza’s in the north to evacuate. Israeli sources have told CDM that this will be a gurerilla fight not just on the streets but in the tunnels.
Ali Baraka, a senior Hamas official based in Lebanon, has forewarned the world as Israel, US, and UK and other global leaders attempt to build an alliance to Israeli’s response to Hamas’ October 7 attacks and hostage takings.
"It's not just an Israeli war on Gaza, there is an Atlantic war on Gaza with all the powers," Barack said. "There will be new frontlines."
Hamas has had a long financial and training history with Iran and its regional proxies like Lebanon's Hezbollah. Hamas has built a mini-army of nearly 40,000 soldiers in Gaza.
While there have been difficulties in importing weapons to Hamas for the last decade, "we developed our capabilities and are able to manufacture locally", said Baraka.
In the past, Hamas’ rockets had a range of 25 miles. Today, Hamas’ rockets have a range of 140 miles. Hamas fired 2,500 rockets on October 7th, while their para-gliders dropped down from the skies over Israel, breaches were ripped at the borders, heading to Israeli towns and neighborhoods, where the innocent were massacred or taken hostage.
There is no doubt that Hamas is stronger today than it was in years past.
For nearly 20 years, Hamas has built a tunnel network under Gaza to move their ammunition - bombs, mortars, rockets, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and hide their military in a sophisticated underground tunnel network.
Although the stated reason for the October 7th attack is specific, Hamas’ 1988 founding charter has called for Israel's destruction.
In a 2022 Al Jazeera interview, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, stated that Hamas had received $70 million in military help from Iran.
"We have rockets that are locally manufactured but the long-range rockets came from abroad, from Iran, Syria and others through Egypt," Haniyeh said.
According to a 2020 U.S. State Department report, Iran provides about $100 million annually to Palestinian groups, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.
A Mossad official asking for anonymity has told CDM that Iran has increased their donations to Hamas at least threefold in the last year.
As of Sunday, BBC has reported that the there is only 24 hours left for fuel to sustain Gaza hospitals.
Israeli Channel 12 has reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has invited Biden to Israel during their phone call on Saturday. No decision has been made as of this publication.
On Sunday, Israel has resumed the water supply to southern Gaza.
Simultaneously, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is trying to organize an international conference about the Israeli Hamas conflict this coming week.
Sisi has been very critical about Israel’s response to the October 7 attack noting it has gone from self-defense to collective punishment, and called it “very dangerous” for the entire region.
Sisi told that to US Secretary of State Tony Blinken as Blinken made his rounds across the Middle East meeting with heads of state trying to garner support for Israeli’s response as they plan their invasion of Gaza.
Sisi blamed the current crises on the lack of any political vision for the Palestinians, which has led to "an explosion of anger."
King Abdullah II of Jordan has arrived in London to meet with UK Prime Minister RIshi Sunak to discuss the Middle East debacle.
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