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What is Hamas Fighting for?

The devastating attack on October 7th resulted in the death of more than 1,300 Israelis. This tragic event has been compared in magnitude to 13 times the September 11th attacks in terms of population ratio. Despite the rising death toll and emerging horror stories, some Western media outlets like the BBC are still reluctant to call Hamas a terror organization, and others even portray Hamas as Palestinian freedom fighters aiming to end the so-called "siege on Gaza."

The UN, by the way, has approved through the Palmer Report Gaza was not under siege as per international law, and the naval blockade legitimately and legally secures measurement to prevent weapon smuggling into Gaza.

The blockade's legality does not make the life of Gazans any easier. Some naively believe Hamas initiated the war to alleviate these hardships. However, their actions suggest a different motive.

Post their military coup in Gaza in 2007 against the PA, Hamas consistently rejected international community demands, such as halting terrorism and recognizing the existing agreements between Israel and the PLO. This stance drastically affected Gazans' lives:

  • Egypt-Gaza Rafah Crossing: After Israel's 2005 disengagement from Gaza, control over the Gaza-Egypt border was transferred to the EU Border Assistance Mission, Egypt, and the Palestinians. Hamas's 2007 coup led to the expulsion of the EU force, disrupting the regulated movement of goods and people between Gaza and Egypt.

  • International Seaport: Agreed upon during the Oslo Process, construction began in 2000 but was halted due to various military clashes initiated by Hamas.

  • International Airport: From the international airport of Dahaniya in Southern Gaza, Palestinian Airlines operated flights to Amman, Cairo, Istanbul, Larnaca, Jeddah, Abu-Dhabi, Doha and Dubai for several years until the outbreak of the Second Intifada (2001), in which Hamas took a leading role.

  • Fishing off the Gaza Coast: Israel contracted the territorial limit for fishing off the Gaza Strip only as a direct security measure taken following the specific actions of Hamas. That was the case in the Second Intifada (2001); the abduction by Hamas of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit (2006); and the numerous military clashes between 2009-2021, which followed Hamas's extensive shooting on Israel. 


At its core, Hamas denies Israel's right to exist, aiming to replace it with an Islamic state. Their charter emphasizes that armed struggle is the only way to achieve this. This stance has led to many of the restrictions Gazans face today. If Hamas had recognized Israel or abandoned its aggressive objectives, it's plausible that these restrictions wouldn't be in place.


Furthermore, Hamas is believed to be a significant player in an Iranian plan to dismantle the State of Israel (see our previous post). The Israeli constipation before the current war was that despite its charter and “ISIS like” ideology, Hamas is also a rational player who won’t escalate the tension to the brink of Jeopardizing its regime. 

In essence, Gazans are the primary victims of Hamas's actions and ideologies. Hamas does not genuinely wish to improve the situation in Gaza, but is driven by a fundamentalist Islamist extreme ideology, which draws parallels with extremist groups like ISIS.


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