Submitted by Dr. Ellen Rosser
Founded: l987 by Sheik Yassin and Dr. Rantisi. Israel supported its
founding as an alternative to the PLO. The Charter called for the
liberation of all of Palestine in which Muslims, Christians and Jew
would flourish under an Islamic government. The Military Branch,
Izadeen Qassam was created in l992.
1995 Dr. Ellen Rosser met with Sheik Yassin and gave him the proposal
on Jerusalem, which has Jerusalem belonging to God and governed by the
religious leaders of the three Abrahamic religions and being the
capital of both Israel and Palestine though belonging to neither. The
proposal also has the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Council governing
Jerusalem giving the Jews the right to rebuild the Temple of King
Solomon at the north end of the Temple Mount. Sheik Yassin had “no
During the Second Intifida Izzadeen Qassam did conduct suicide
bombings, but in June 2004 Sheik Yassin stated that Hamas would end
armed resistance in exchange for a Palestinian State in the West Bank,
Gaza and East Jerusalem. Israel assassinated Sheik Yassin and Dr.
Rantisi in 2004.
From August 2004, Hamas observed a unilateral ceasefire with Israel.
In 2005 Hamas in its election campaign did not call for an end of
Israel but instead called for an independent Palestinian state with
Jerusalem as its capital.
In 2005 Hamas signed the Cairo Declaration of 2005 and the National
Reconciliation Document, which, as interpreted by Haniyeh and
Maschaal, means that Hamas “fully respects” the previous agreements
between the Palestinians and Israel.
In February, 2006, Khaled Mashaal said: “(Hamas) cannot oppose the
unified Arab stance expressed in the resolution passed by the Arab
League summit. That resolution, approved in Beirut, speaks of
recognizing Israel and normalizing relations with it in exchange for a
full withdrawal and a solution to the refugee problem”.
Hamas won the election and continued to observe the unilateral
ceasefire until Israel, responding to rocket fire from the small
parties (not Hamas) attacked Gaza in June 2006 killing 220 civilians.
The Popular Resistance Committee, including Izzadeen
Quassm (Hamas’ military branch), then captured Gilad Shalit to
exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
In 2006, Prime Minister Haniyeh of Hamas wrote to Pres. George Bush
offering a 20 year ceasefire with Israel during which there could be
an exchange of ambassadors, in other words, official recognition of
In early 2006 in Gaza, Hamas (and the small parties who were
shooting the Qassam rockets –Islamic Jihad, PFLP, DFLP and Al Aqsa’s
Martyrs’ Brigade), agreed to participate in a workshop and large march
under the banner: Two Peoples, Two States, One Peace. (The
Fatah-Hamas conflict prevented the workshop and march from being
On June `8, 2008, Israel and Hamas agreed upon a ceasefire. Hamas
thereafter prevented the small parties in Gaza from launching Qassam
rockets into Israel, although a few groups or individuals evaded the
Hamas checkpoints to launch occasional rockets
In November 4, 2008, the ceasefire ended when Israel attacked inside
Gaza to destroy a tunnel that went into Israel. The small parties then
began shooting rockets into Israel again.
On December 27-28, Israel attacked Gaza to stop the rocket fire.
During Operation Cast Lead, 894 civilians were killed, including
280 under age 18. Perhaps 277 Hamas policemen and militants were killed.
Israel and Hamas are negotiating another ceasefire.
CONCLUSION: Hamas has been offering peace to Israel since before it
was elected. It renounced violence in action, which is more important
than words, through unilateral ceasefires and the negotiated
ceasefires with Israel, it “fully respects” previous agreements, it
accepts the Arab Initiative, and Haniyeh offered an exchange of
ambassadors, surely an official recognition of Israel.
In other words, Hamas has more than met the conditions of the
Quartet and should be accepted as a viable peace partner.