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What is Hamas and who are its supporters?

Ground Report | New Delhi: The Gaza Strip has been under Hamas control since 2007 and has several foreign allies. But where does hamas get its rockets for attacks on Israel and who finances it?

The German media has in the past called Hamas an “extremist Islamic organization”, but in the current conflict between Israel and Palestine, the Western media is calling the organization a “terrorist.” This is because the European Union, most of the Western countries and the United States have declared Hamas a terrorist organization.

Of the Western countries, only Norway and Switzerland have so far not declared Hamas a terrorist organization and have maintained strict diplomatic relations with Hamaz.

A brief history of Hamas

Hamas came into being in the 1980s. At that time, hamaz, a coalition of Palestinian parties led by Yasser Arafat, was formed in opposition to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The formation of Hamas is also said to have been funded by the Israeli government in the early days in order to break the power of Yasser Arafat and the PLO. However, both Hamaz and Israel vehemently deny such claims.

Hamas won a majority in the Gaza Strip in the 2006 general election and later seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 following violent clashes between Fatah and hamas. Since then, the West Bank has been controlled by the Fatah party led by Mahmoud Abbas, and Gaza remains under Hamaz control.

Hamas continues its war against Israel from the Gaza Strip, calling it “self-defense.” The group and Israel clashed in 2008, 2012 and 2014.

What is the situation in the Gaza Strip?

The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Due to the strict surveillance of Egypt, Israel and the coastal areas, the Gaza Strip is completely cut off from the rest of the world. Due to the current economy, most residents of the Gaza Strip live in poverty and depend on foreign aid for their livelihood.

Hamas has set up checkpoints in residential buildings, from which it often launches rocket attacks on Israel, which is seen as tantamount to using the local population as a ‘human shield’.

Hamas has also dug several secret tunnels to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip on the border with Egypt. However, the Egyptian government is also active enough to stop Hamaz’s activities.

Who is a supporter of Hamas?

Qatar is Hamas’ most important ally and its largest financial backer. Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa II was the first foreign leader to meet with the hamaz government in 2012. So far, Qatar has provided the equivalent of 8 1.8 billion in financial assistance to Hamas.

On the other hand, Israel hopes that Qatar, like many other Arab countries, will soon establish diplomatic relations with Israel in compliance with the US-brokered Abrahamic agreement.

Where do Hamas get rockets?

Hamas has relied on Iranian-supplied rockets for years. However, Fabian Huns, an expert on missile technology in the Middle East, told the German broadcaster ZDF that militant groups operating in Gaza had significantly increased the number of rockets they had, which was also confirmed by Israeli media.

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