NAME: Arabic for “zeal.” Is acronym of Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah, or Islamic Resistance Movement. Use first was in 1987 leaflet presaging launch of first Palestinian uprising against Israel, 1987-93.
GOAL: To establish Islamic theocracy in Israel, West Bank and Gaza Strip. Does not recognize state of Israel and committed to its destruction.
OPERATIONS: Built grass-roots base through preaching and network of health, education and welfare services in Gaza Strip and West Bank. Preaches armed resistance against Israel and has staged dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks, killing hundreds. Listed as terror group by U.S., European Union and Israel.
FUNDING: Community services financed by Arab agencies and Islamic charities; Israel claims funding for military wing (Izzedine al-Qassam) comes from Iran, Syria and Palestinians living abroad.
HISTORY: Began as offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in 1970s. Initially supported by Israel as counterbalance to Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization. Early activity concentrated on social and community issues; militant faction took over in 1980s. Entered politics with run for Palestinian parliament in 2006, defeating long-dominant Fatah.
GAZA TAKEOVER: Seized control of Gaza in 2007 during five days of battles with Fatah forces loyal to moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
DECISION-MAKING: Khaled Mashaal, former physics teacher who lives in Syria, considered….
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