Ramallah – Since its announcement of establishment on this day (December 14th) in 1987, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has been subjected to significant and severe strikes targeting its leaders, members, organizational structure, and affiliated institutions, including associations, sports clubs, cultural entities, and even government bodies that it managed.

While the movement has operated in Palestine for some time as an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, its actual foundation came with the start of the first intifada led by the martyr Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, along with others such as the martyr Abdul-Aziz al-Rantisi and Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar, in the Gaza Strip.

The following highlights the most pivotal milestones and strikes that the movement has faced, emerging stronger afterward to continue its resistance against the occupation.

Arrest of the Founder (1989)

Arrest of the Founder (1989) The arrest of the movement’s founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, marked the beginning of challenges for Hamas. On May 18, 1989, Sheikh Yassin was arrested along with hundreds of members of the emerging movement. Then, on October 16, 1991, he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

On December 13, 1992, a commando group affiliated with the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, attempted to free Sheikh Yassin and some other elderly detainees. This was done by kidnapping an Israeli soldier near Jerusalem and demanding the release of their prisoners in exchange.

Marj az-Zohour (1992)

In response to the kidnapping of the soldier, the occupation authorities launched a widespread campaign of arrests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As a result, 416 members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were deported to southern Lebanon on December 17, 1992.

The deportees rejected the decision and remained in the “Marj az-Zohour” area in southern Lebanon, despite the harsh weather conditions and limited resources. Eventually, UN Security Council Resolution 977 was issued, calling for their return. Most of them returned within a year, while a few remained outside the country.

According to former deportees interviewed by Al Jazeera, the deportation turned out to be a double-edged sword. It “turned the sorcerer against the sorcerer” and proved to be “harmful yet beneficial.” Their camp in southern Lebanon became a focal point for global media, serving as a platform to convey the suffering of their people. Additionally, it allowed them to receive solidarity, establish communication lines, and build relationships worldwide.

Peacemakers Summit (1996)

After a series of bombings inside Israel claimed by Hamas, the “Summit of Peacemakers” took place in the Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh on March 13, 1996. It was convened at the invitation of Egypt and the United States. One of its notable outcomes was a focus on “combating terrorism and its sources of funding,” specifically addressing Palestinian resistance.

Assassination attempt on Khaled Meshal (1997)

On September 25, 1997, the head of the political bureau of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, survived an assassination attempt in the Jordanian capital, Amman, carried out by agents of the Israeli Mossad.

The attempt failed and marked a qualitative shift for the movement. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was released just days later, specifically on October 1, and was transferred for treatment in Jordan in exchange for the release of the Mossad agents. He received special treatment there before returning to Gaza on the sixth of the same month. Later, he faced harassment from the Palestinian Authority, to the extent of imposing house arrest on him.

The following year after his release, Ahmed Yassin visited several countries and held public meetings to discuss his movement’s program for the liberation of Palestine. This resembled a broad public relations campaign for Hamas abroad.

Deportation from Amman to Doha (1999)

After the Jordanian authorities decided to close Hamas offices, its leaders were deported to Qatar on November 21, 1999. In Qatar, Hamas opened a political office and has maintained a special relationship with the country to this day.

Al-Aqsa Intifada (2000)

With the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada (the Second Intifada) following the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon on September 28, 2000, and the subsequent invasion of Palestinian cities, the leaders of Hamas became targets for assassination and arrest in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Assassination of the Founder and his Successor (2004)

On the dawn of March 22, 2004, an Israeli Apache helicopter launched three missiles, assassinating Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as he left the Fajr prayer in his wheelchair outside the Islamic Complex in the Sabra neighborhood of the Gaza Strip.

On March 24, 2004, two days after the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Dr. Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, one of the founders and spokesmen of the expelled Marj al-Zohour group, was chosen as the leader of the movement in the Gaza Strip. However, he was also assassinated on April 17, 2004.

The two assassination operations served as fuel for Palestinian resistance operations, forcing the Israeli occupation to withdraw from settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Elections and Division (2006)

After the victory of the Hamas movement in the 2006 elections, other Palestinian factions refused to participate in forming the government. Ismail Haniyeh formed the government and assumed its presidency on March 19, 2006. Since then, Gaza has been under siege.

In mid-2007, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip after clashes with the Palestinian Authority’s security forces. It faced the challenge of balancing resistance and governing the territory. Despite the siege, Hamas accumulated and developed its military capabilities, revealing them gradually in subsequent conflicts.

2006 War

On June 25, 2006, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. In response, Israel launched a widespread arrest campaign, detaining hundreds of Hamas members in the West Bank, including the newly elected Legislative Council President at that time, Aziz Dweik, and council members from the West Bank and Jerusalem.

As a result of the campaign, Israel failed to secure the soldier’s release until it agreed to free 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in a deal on October 18, 2011. This marked another achievement for Hamas in securing the release of prisoners after the evacuation of Gaza settlements.

Battle of Al-Furqan (2008)

On December 27, 2008, Israel initiated a war on the Gaza Strip that lasted for 23 days. The goal was to end Hamas’s rule in the region, eliminate resistance, stop rocket attacks, and secure the release of Gilad Shalit. In response, Hamas launched the “Battle of Al-Furqan,” targeting Israeli settlements near Gaza and extending the attacks to cities such as Ashdod and Beersheba. Israel did not achieve any of its stated objectives. Instead, settlements in the “Gaza envelope” became targets for the resistance’s rockets.

Hajar al-Sijil (2012)

This war began on November 14, 2012, and lasted for 8 days after the assassination of Ahmed al-Jabari, the commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. The occupation aimed to “destroy missile storage sites,” and the resistance responded with the “Stones of Sijil” operation, during which 1,500 rockets reached Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the first time.

aleasf almakul (2014)

Israel launched a broad offensive on the Gaza Strip on July 7, 2014, which lasted for 51 days and included more than 60,000 airstrikes. The stated objectives were to “eliminate Hamas, destroy its tunnels, and neutralize its rocket capabilities.” In response, the Palestinian resistance initiated the “Devouring Storm” battle.

While Israel aimed to destroy the storage sites of the resistance’s rockets, the response involved launching over 8,000 rockets, some of which disrupted flights at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Additionally, Israeli soldier Shaul Aron was captured during the conflict.

“The Aqsa Flood” (2023)

On the dawn of Saturday, October 7, 2023, Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip launched an operation called “The Aqsa Deluge” against Israel. During this operation, they entered settlements in the “Gaza envelope” and stayed there for about 6 hours. They targeted what is known as the “Gaza Brigade” in the Israeli army, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of soldiers and settlers so far.

Source: www.aljazeera.net

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