Tracker

Iran-Hamas Relationship Tracker 2010

 

The Critical Threats Project’s Iran Tracker will be providing biweekly updates on Hamas’s relationship with Iran.  Iran Tracker will document Hamas’s interactions with Iranian officials, information regarding the organization’s funding transfers of arms and materiel, militant operations, meetings and relations with groups and countries, Hamas’s official statements, and local developments in Gaza.

Please view the full report on the Iran-Hamas relationship for 2008.

 
IRANIAN-HAMAS RELATIONS
FUNDING
ARMS TRANSFERS and MILITANT OPERATIONS
INTERNATIONAL REACTIONS
HAMAS STATEMENTS
LOCAL DEVELOPMENTS

LAST UPDATE: 05:00 PM EST on 31 DECEMBER

highlights in bold represent recent updates

 
IRANIAN-HAMAS RELATIONS

NOV 30: According to Tehran Times, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal met with Iranian Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani in Damascus. Larijani said people around the world “cherish the resistance against invaders.” Meshaal added that efforts to weaken the “resistance” were “futile as the resistance movement is getting more popular every day.”[1]

NOV 8: Iran’s Press TV reported that Hamas invited Ahmadinejad to visit the Gaza Strip. Hamas Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmed Yousef said that the group is “confident that this trip will be of paramount importance.”[2]

OCT 31: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal traveled to Damascus to meet with Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi. Meshaal spoke with Iranian state newspaper IRNA after the meeting saying the discussion centered on the "current situation in the region, Palestine, and the conflict with Israel."[3]

AUG 11: Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki met with Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Meshaal in Damascus.[4]

AUG 8: Ali Akbar Velayati, the top foreign affairs advisor to Khamene’i, held a meeting in Damascus with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shallah regarding regional affairs and Israeli and American threats.[5]

AUG 3: The Iranian parliament announced that it will send a delegation of lawmakers to Gaza regardless of Israeli warnings that it would arrest the MPs upon arrival in Gaza. According to head of the Iranian delegation Mahmoud Ahmadi Biqash, Fars News reports, the Egyptian government has delayed issuing visas to the Iranians.  The delegation also plans to hold talks with Egyptian officials, including Egyptian Parliament speaker Ahmed Fathi Sorour, about supplying aid to Gaza.[6]

JULY 21: Iran’s Press TV reports that Iranian MP of the National Security Parliament and Foreign Policy Committee Mahmoud Ahmadi Biqash announced plans to visit Gaza on July 27 along with MPs Avaz Heidarpour, Parviz Sorouri, and Shobaib Joyjari.[7]

JUNE 20: An Iranian legislator, Eghbal Mohammadi, asked for worldwide efforts to end the blockade on Gaza stating, “I demand all freedom supporters to rise to break the siege on Gaza.”[8]

JULY 1: Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani arrived in Syria to meet with Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders. Larijani met with Meshaal and Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ramadan Abdullah Shallah to discuss the current situation under the Gaza blockade.[9]

JUNE 26: Iran decided not to send an aid convoy to Gaza due to Israeli “restrictions,” according to Iranian MP of the National Security Parliament and Foreign Policy Committee Mahmoud Ahmadi Biqash. Instead, an Iranian delegation would travel to Lebanon and from there, sail on an aid ship headed to Gaza.[10]

JUNE 11: An Iranian ship will leave for Gaza loaded with food, medical supplies, and construction supplies. Onboard there will be doctors, athletes, students, journalists, and parliamentarians.[11]

JUNE 7: Iran warned that it would send its Revolutionary Guard naval units to escort humanitarian [Red Crescent Society] aid convoys to break the blockade. Israel said that without the blockade Gaza would become an Iranian port and Hamas would possess missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.[12]

JUNE 1: In a phone conversation, Iranian President Ahmadinejad told Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that Iran will maintain its support for the Palestinian people and condemned the Israeli raid on the flotilla. Ahmadinejad called for a breaking of the blockade.[13]

JUNE 1: Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili said that Israel was a threat to the world in a phone conversation with Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.[14]

MARCH 15: An Iranian Foreign Ministry source announced that Iran is ready to mediate between Hamas and Fatah, responding to President Abbas’s claim that Iran sows discord between the two factions, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reports.[15]

FEB 27: Ayatollah Khamene’i addressed the visiting Palestinian leaders, Meshaal from Hamas, Secretary General Ramadan Abdullah from Islamic Jihad, General Command Leader Ahmed Jibril from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Colonel Abu Musa from the Fatah al Intifada. The leaders were attending a conference in Iran on National and Islamic Solidarity for the Future of Palestine.[16]

JAN 7: A Hamas official said that Hamas received financial support from Iran. President Abbas accused Iran of pressuring Hamas to prevent reconciliation.[17]

JAN 5: According to The Jerusalem Post, Iranian nuclear negotiator and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili asked Hamas and Hezbollah to carry out operations against Israel.[18]

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FUNDING

AUG 3: The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a set of designations against Iran’s support of terrorist groups including Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, and the Taliban. The U.S. Government froze the assets of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps senior officer Hushang Allahdad, a financial officer.[19]

JULY 21: Palestinian Monetary Authority head of human resources Riyad Abu Shihadeh stated that the firing of eight employees of a Gaza City-based bank on July 19 was due to their administrative mistakes not their supposed affiliations with Hamas. The PMA found that $80,000 was missing from the bank and an investigation found these employees responsible.[20]

JULY 12: Germany shut down the branch of the International Humanitarian Aid Organization (IHH) in Frankfurt due to its donations to Hamas. Germany banned the organization, which was involved in the May flotilla incident, saying that the donations finance the “terror organization Hamas as a whole.”[21]

JUNE 27: Hamas forces stormed an Islamic bank in the Gaza Strip and confiscated approximately $16,000 at gunpoint. The bank suspended its business after this incident.[22]

JUNE 20: According to The Jerusalem Post, police closed an eastern Jerusalem office used by Hamas for fundraising and recruitment. There was no reported violence.[23]

JUNE 15: Shin Bet internal security chief Yuval Diskin stated that Hamas is buying land in Jerusalem through Islamic charity and missionary groups.[24]

MAY 25: Shin Bet arrested a number of East Jerusalemites during an investigation of a money-laundering scheme associated with Hamas. Shirin Issawi, Madhat Issawi, Rafat Issawi, Salim Abdel Rahman, Sufian Zabda, and Malsem Hala’ila were all arrested for depositing tens of thousands of dollars weekly from charities that were closed in the West Bank, The Jerusalem Post reports. Shirin Issawi was arrested with $100,000 and 53,000 Israeli shekels (NIS) in cash and a USB disk containing documents about Hamas activities from imprisoned chiefs.[25]

APRIL 22: According to Intelligence Online, Iran gave Hamas 350 million euros per year until 2009. Sanctions on Iran have now made funding difficult, forcing Hamas instead to rely on religious donations by those in the West Bank, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.[26]

APRIL 8: Hamas has started raising new taxes on businesses and smuggled goods including luxury cars and cheap petrol from Egypt. According to Omar Shaban, a Palestinian economist, Hamas is “facing a financial crisis,” outgrowing its finances and most of the funds have been invested in land and property. A 25 percent tax has been imposed on smuggled petrol from Egypt.[27]

MARCH 29: Ten Hamas police officers, backed by an order from a Hamas-run court, seized $270,000 from the Bank of Palestine in Gaza City.  The Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) had frozen the funds after the intended recipient, Friends of the Sick, elected a Hamas-dominated leadership in July 2009. The PMA announced that it would close Gaza’s banks the following day.[28]

MARCH 28: Gordon Brown and Prince Charles praised Muslim Aid, a charity that channels hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups associated with Hamas. Israel had banned the charity from the West Bank. Muslim Aid says that it only supports legitimate organizations and serves humanity “regardless of political affiliation.” British security sources report that the charity has provided £325,000 to the Islamic University of Gaza (where many Hamas leaders teach), £13,998 to the al Ihsan Charitable Society (which the U.S. designated as a terrorism sponsor), and £210,600 to six other organizations in Gaza linked to Hamas since July 2009. Muslim Aid also has links to the fundamentalist Islamic Forum of Europe and raised more than £24 million in 2009.[29]

MARCH 17: The United States Treasury Department placed sanctions on the Islamic National Bank and al Aqsa TV due to their ties to Hamas. According to the Treasury, the bank does not have a legal license from the Palestinian Monetary Authority. The Treasury states that the television channel serves as a primary Hamas media outlet used for recruitment purposes and that the Islamic National Bank is controlled by Hamas.[30]

FEB 26: A Nablus military court confiscated 163,000 euros hidden in a well belonging to Hamas’s military wing. The court also freed Bahir Hawwash and sentenced Abd al Hakim al Qadh (one year for possessing munitions and opposing the Palestinian Authority’s general policy in violation of Clause No. 179), Sami Awdah (one year), and Ghassan Jarrar (seven months).[31]

JAN 3: Hamas lawmakers approved a $540 million budget for Gaza. This figure is greater than the $428 million proposed in October 2009. The salaries for Hamas’s 34,000 security and civil servants total $17.5 million. According to Hamas lawmaker Jamal Nassar, the budget focuses on social and economic issues, especially those relating to health and education.[32]

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ARMS TRANSFERS and MILITANT OPERATIONS

OCT 26: The Nigerian Secret Service reported it intercepted 13 Iranian weapons containers allegedly destined for Hamas in the Nigerian port of Lagos. Rocket launchers, grenades, and other explosives were disguised as building materials, and preliminary evidence suggest a new arms smuggling route from Iran to Gaza.[33]

OCT 24: Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and al Qaeda forces operating in the Gaza Strip have received sophisticated camera-equipped suicide vests from Iran, according to Hamas intelligence agents. DEBKAfile reports that Hamas officials have warned PIJ against collaborating with elements of al Qaeda that undermine Hamas’s authority in Gaza.[34]

OCT 18: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a Likud party meeting that Hamas militants in Gaza City have obtained anti-aircraft missiles through smuggling tunnels connected to Egypt.  This is the first public acknowledgement of this capability.[35]

SEPT 21: Commander of the Gaza division of the Israel Defense Forces Brig. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg said that there has been an increase in attempted terrorist rocket attacks on the IDF in Gaza.  Eisenberg said, “The Hamas terror organization is the authority in the area, and we hold it responsible for any incident.  I cannot confirm that the organization ensures each shot fired, but the general atmosphere is one that leads the same terrorist organizations to carry out the launching attempts.”  He added, “Hamas is focusing on three main efforts: to strengthen weaponry improvements, to be fit to fight in order to harm IDF forces, and to reach a balance of military capabilities.  Other efforts are the efforts to preserve Hamas rule and to maintain humanitarian efforts.  That being said, despite the fact that the organization sprouted from refugee camps, refugees are at the bottom of Hamas’ priorities.”[36]

SEPT 19: Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula fear that Hamas militants have recently infiltrated Egypt from Gaza with long-range Grad missiles, which they are intending to fire on Israel in the near future.  Security forces have increased their presence in Sinai and set up security checkpoints.[37]

SEPT 7: Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported that Egyptian police found nine weapons caches in Rafah, El Arish, and other locations in northern and central Sinai. Egyptian security officials said that the weapons, which they believe were meant to be smuggled into Gaza, included machine guns, ammunition, over 170 anti-aircraft shells, 90 artillery shells, 200 bullets of varying sizes, and anti-tank landmines. Additionally, 100 kilograms of TNT explosives were discovered hidden in a Rafah cemetery and Egyptian security forces discovered two tunnels in Rafah used for smuggling cars into Gaza.[38]

SEPT 1: Al Qassam Brigades executed a second shooting attack in the West Bank near Ramallah at the Rimonim Junction that wounded two Israelis.[39]

AUG 31: Al Qassam Brigades executed an attack in Hebron in which four Israelis were shot dead near Kiryat Arba, a West Bank Jewish settlement.[40]

AUG 31: Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper reported that Hamas has performed tests in the past few days for an advanced “Fajr” rocket. The range of the rocket is 80 kilometers, which can strike north of Tel Aviv.[41]

AUG 6: Security sources told Haaretz that Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal planned the August 2 attack on Eilat and Aqaba and that the commander of Hamas’s military wing in Rafah, Raed al Atar, ordered the attack.  Palestinian security sources reported that Atar received support from Iranian intelligence agents. The militants under his authority crossed into the Sinai through the Rafah tunnels, met Egyptian drivers, took the Katyusha rockets, and drove off-roading vehicles toward Taba.  The Hamas military commander in Gaza, Ahmed Jabari, did not know of the attacks beforehand.[42]

AUG 3: A Palestinian Authority defense source said Hamas has almost stopped manufacturing missiles and rockets and has turned to smuggling high-trajectory weapons into Gaza. The source stated that Hamas has thousands of rockets and missiles and established a special unit to upgrade them.[43]

JULY 27: Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad is considering creating a larger military force first with volunteers then with conscripts. Hamas currently has a paid security force of 18,000.[44]

JUNE 26: Osama Hassan of the al Qassam Brigades was killed during a “jihad mission” in the central Gaza Strip.[45]

JUNE 15: Shin Bet internal security chief Yuval Diskin reports that Hamas has rockets that are capable of striking central Israel. He stated that “Hamas and Islamic Jihad together have some 5,000 rockets with ranges up to 40 kilometres.”[46]

MAY 19: The Sudanese military denied reports that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard were training members of Hamas in Sudan. Sudan was accused of allowing Hamas use its military grounds for missile launch training.[47]

MARCH 26: Two IDF soldiers, deputy commander of the Golani Brigade’s Battalion 12 Major Eliraz Peretz and Staff Sergeant Ilan Sviatkovsky, were killed and while two other soldiers were wounded near Khan Younis in southern Gaza in a firefight. Four Palestinians were killed and several others were wounded. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad took credit for the attacks. Hamas “preempted” the soldiers to avenge the murder of senior Hamas military commander Mahmoud al Mabhouh, and Islamic Jihad planned to kidnap an Israeli soldier. The IDF used helicopters and mortar fire and, according to Palestinian sources, five tanks and two armored bulldozers as well. The IDF fired on a group reportedly belonging to the Jaljalat.[48]

MARCH 15: A 500-page Israeli report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center states that Hamas used Palestinians as human shields during the Gaza War. According to the report, Hamas stored weapons in and fired them from nearly 100 mosques and set up command centers in 10 hospitals. The Center examined photographs, videos, and interrogation transcripts to compile the report.[49]

MARCH 1: One week after security forces arrested a Hamas cell preparing to test fire a rocket near Ramallah, Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades said, “Having a Qassam rocket in the West Bank is a demand that must be achieved.”[50]

FEB 26: The military wing of Hamas claimed responsibility for firing machine guns and five 80mm mortar shells at an Israeli force near Karm Abu Salim crossing east of Rafah.  Israeli forces opened fire on the pretext that the Palestinians were planting a bomb near the border fence and wounded one Palestinian. The National Resistance Brigades of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine took responsibility for firing machine guns and shells at an Israeli special unit east of Rafah near the Abu Mutabbaq position.[51]

FEB 22: Al Qassam Brigades announced that one of its fighters, Diya al Khalout from Jabaliya, was killed in Khan Younis. Two others were injured following an explosion at a military training camp affiliated to the National Resistance west of Khan Younis.[52]

JAN 31: Israeli defense officials say that deceased senior Hamas military commander Mahmoud al Mabhouh was smuggling Iranian arms to Gaza, including rockets that could reach Tel Aviv.[53]

JAN 18: According to Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri, Hamas and Hezbollah have completed talks to establish a joint military command for their militias.[54]

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INTERNATIONAL REACTIONS

DEC 30: Palestinian security forces arrested Ayub Qawasmeh, senior leader of Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades. His arrest was announced on December 31.[55]

DEC 30: Israeli troops arrested Hamas MP Khalil Rabai in Yata.[56]

DEC 28: Hamas lawmaker Mohammad al Tal was arrested by Israeli forces in Hebron, West Bank.[57]

DEC 28: Egyptian security forces seized a weapons cache, allegedly headed for the Gaza Strip, containing anti-aircraft artillery shells and missiles in the Sinai Peninsula.[58]

DEC 28: The IDF reported that Israeli troops with aircraft support fired on “a number of suspects” planting explosives along the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip, confirming one hit. Palestinian sources said that the attack occurred near Khan Younis and that one militant was killed, reportedly Hassan Abu Rok Qadeeh of the Popular Resistance Committees, and several others were wounded.[59]

DEC 28: Israel’s Ministry of Defense issued a statement claiming that London-based Palestinian Return Center organizes “terror-affiliated activities,” including “many conferences in various European countries for Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood activists from all around the world.” The statement added that the center is “part of the broader Hamas activism and support network within Europe, which is especially strong in England.”[60]

DEC 27: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Hamas “not to let the situation around the [Gaza] Strip deteriorate,” adding that “In the last two and a half weeks alone, we have killed nine or 10 terrorists.”[61]

DEC 27: IDF Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi stated in a meeting with Italian Chief of Defense General Vicenzo Camporini, “Two years after Operation Cast Lead the situation in the Gaza Strip is different and calmer. Yet, sadly, from time to time, rockets and mortar shells are fired at the Israeli home front. We will not accept this. The IDF holds the terrorist organization Hamas solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip. We hope that the security situation in the south does not deteriorate, however the IDF is preparing for any scenario.”[62]

DEC 27: The IDF issued a report announcing that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak signed a decree in December designating London-based Palestinian Return Center “an illegal association” for its alleged affiliation with Hamas.[63]

DEC 27: Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai stated that “Gaza is like an abscess, a problematic boil. For as long as they [Hamas] don't understand how to act, nothing will move forward here.” He added, “Instead of taking care of its people, Hamas is trying to conquer Jerusalem.”[64]

DEC 27: Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said on Israel Radio, “I hope there is not need for another operation such as Cast Lead… But if this situation continues, if rockets keep being smuggled in and they continue shooting at Israel in an attempt to hit innocent civilians, then obviously we will have to respond, and respond forcefully.”[65]

DEC 27: Israeli Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer stated, “I hope that Hamas will stop the rocket fire… We are not interested in an escalation but we have no choice other than to respond.”[66]

DEC 25: Israeli forces killed two militants who were allegedly “planting explosives along the security fence” in Khan Younis to the south of the Gaza Strip. The IDF reported that security forces supported by helicopters “confirmed direct hits.” An Israeli military spokesman added that “soldiers received instructions not to hesitate to open fire.” Palestinian Islamic Jihad issued a statement on December 26 confirming that two members of its military wing, Issa Abu Rock and Muhammad Najar, were killed in “fierce clashes” with Israeli soldiers on December 25, adding that “The fighters inflicted losses on occupation forces,” though  no Israeli casualties were reported.[67]

DEC 25: The IDF reported that the “IAF struck an active terror center in the northern Gaza Strip and a smuggling tunnel in the south. Direct hits were confirmed.” AFP added that four airstrikes were conducted: the first raid targeted a site suspected of terror activity, wounding two people, damaging a local power station, and knocking out power in much of the strip; the other three strikes on smuggling tunnels along the Gaza Strip-Egypt border caused no casualties.[68] 

DEC 23: UN representative Richard H. Serry responded to news that Israeli soldiers killed one Palestinian and wounded three others, stating, “I am distressed that incidents continue in the perimeter area of Gaza, and deplore the killing of one apparently unarmed Palestinian civilian and the injuring of a number of others by Israeli gunfire.”  He added, “I call for maximum Israeli restraint and protection of civilians. I reiterate my appeal for calm and an end to violence, to bring about the de-escalation that all parties have stressed they wish to see.”[69]

DEC 22: Major General Adnan Damiri, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, announced the discovery of a Hamas cell in Ramallah over two months ago. He stated, “We seized their weapons,” including “four rocket launchers and 17 rocket-propelled grenades,” which “were intended to target the (Palestinian) national authority and were not intended for use against Israel.” Damiri added that “The security establishment considers the actions of Hamas in Gaza and Damascus to be very dangerous... and their language contains a direct call to murder and a direct call to civil war.”[70] 

DEC 21: The IDF reported that IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi stated in a security briefing to Parliament that “The situation in the south is fragile and explosive. Most of the terrorist activity is directed toward IDF activity along the security fence. The past year has seen 112 attacks executed against IDF forces and 60 terrorists were killed.” He confirmed that the Israeli forces raided Hamas targets on December 20 in response to increased attacks from the Gaza Strip, adding that “The main elements controlling Hamas in Gaza are the Hamas chief of staff Ahmed Jaabri, and not Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.” Israeli sources also reported that Ashkenazi announced that “On December 6, a Kornet anti-tank missile fired for the first time in Gaza hit an IDF tank and penetrated its outer shell. Luckily, the missile did not explode inside the tank. We are talking about a massive missile, one of the most dangerous in the battlefield, which has already been used against the IDF in the Lebanon War.”[71]

DEC 21: Haaretz reported that the IDF decided on December 19 to deploy, as Reuters noted, the 9th battalion—the only Israeli unit whose tanks are fitted with an advanced armored protection system known as Trophy—to the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip next month due to increased violence in recent weeks.[72]

DEC 20-21: The IDF reported on December 21 that it bombed seven terror-related sites in the Gaza Strip on December 20, including “three Hamas-operated tunnels in the northern Gaza Strip and an additional Hamas-operated tunnel, a smuggling tunnel, a weapon-manufacturing facility and a terror activity center in the southern Gaza Strip” in response to rocket fire from militants in the Gaza Strip on Israel. Later on December 21, the IDF reported another air strike on a “Hamas terror activity center” in the southern Gaza Strip occurring that same day and confirmed a direct hit. No casualties were reported in either report.  According to Palestinian witnesses on December 21, however, the attacks from both days resulted in several casualties. In the north, no casualties were reported in four attacks on Jabailya refugee camp, Beit Lahya, Beit Hanoun, and Zeitoun on December 20. In the south, three raids targeting training and weapons-manufacturing facilities in Khan Younis on December 20 injured two al Qassam Hamas fighters.  No casualties were reported in an attack on a smuggling tunnel near Rafah on December 20, while several people were wounded on December 21, some reportedly al Qassam militants, in two raids on an al Qassam training site near Rafah and in a strike on a “Hamas terror activity center” in Khan Younis.[73]

DEC 18: The IDF launched an airstrike in the Gaza Strip, killing 5 militants from Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees. The IDF reported that “a squad of terror operatives… were preparing to launch rockets towards Israeli territory from the Central Gaza Strip.”[74]

DEC 17: Lebanese PM Saad Hariri met with Hamas leader Osama Hamdan.[75]

DEC 15: The Jerusalem Post reported that Quartet representative to the Middle East Tony Blair stated that “It is absolutely clear that improving the lives of people in Gaza improves the prospects of peace,” criticizing the “mistaken view which is that if Gaza is isolated, somehow Hamas is weakened.”[76]

DEC 12: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov.[77]

DEC 12: The Israel Defense Forces reported that an Israeli soldier was injured and two suspected militants were killed in a firefight on the Gaza Strip border on December 11. The report added that “The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it.”[78]

DEC 10: Israeli forces arrested former Hamas minister Wasfi Kabaha in the West Bank.[79]

DEC 9: Egyptian daily al Masry al Youm reported that seven smuggling tunnels along the border with the Gaza Strip were discovered by Egyptian authorities.[80]

DEC 9: Israel Defense Forces issued a press release confirming that the IAF “struck a weapons manufacturing and storage site” and “two hubs of terror” in the Gaza Strip. The report noted that “The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it.”[81]

DEC 8: The Gulf Times reported that a Hamas delegation, including Damascus-based leader Khaled Meshaal, met with Qatari Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa al Thani.[82]

DEC 8: Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar and Lebanon Mark Hambley met with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. He said, “We should have been talking to Hamas for the past three years. The difficulty is that we've put Hamas in the same category as groups that we have grievances against,” adding that “There will be no peace if Hamas is not included in the process. Hamas has said many good things in the past.”[83]

DEC 8: Israel Defense Forces issued a press release reporting that “the IAF struck a weapons manufacturing site and a smuggling tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip” on December 7 “in response to the firing of rockets at Israel's southern Communities over the past two days.” The report noted that “The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it.”[84]

DEC 8: Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that three Palestinians were injured by Israeli shelling. An Israeli military spokesman commented that “an IDF force fired tank rounds toward a number of suspicious individuals who approached the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip… The men were approaching the fence with the intention of planting explosive devices.”[85]

DEC 8: An Israeli court expelled Hamas leader Mohammed Abu Tir.[86]  

DEC 2: Israel Defense Forces reported that Israeli soldiers prevented a “terror attack,” targeting “a number of armed Palestinians” in the Gaza Strip. The report added that the “IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it.” According to Xinhua News Agency, the Israeli army confirmed that two militants killed were members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.[87]

DEC 1: Arab Israeli Islam Marei was indicted by an Israeli court for “aiding an enemy during a time of war,” by allegedly recruiting other Arab Israelis to form “a military branch of Hamas.”[88]

NOV 30: Israeli officials have blocked construction of two UN schools in the Gaza Strip, which could be targeted by Hamas. Major Guy Inbar, spokesman for the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), stated that, "In the list of the 12 schools that they gave us, we allowed all the schools and only two of them were close to a Hamas implantation.” Inbar went on to say that the decision was based on Hamas activity in the area and the potential for the group to “use the schools and the children as human shields.”[89]

NOV 28: The IDF reported that a mortar shell fired on November 19 from the Gaza Strip on western Negev, allegedly by Hamas, contained phosphorus.[90]

NOV 19: The Israeli Air Force launched a series of strikes against “terror sites” in the Gaza Strip, including a smuggling tunnel. According to a statement from the Israeli military, the strikes came in response to rocket attacks launched against the Merchavim Regional Council and several other Israeli sites. The statement added that “direct hits were identified and all IAF aircrafts returned to their bases safely.”[91]

NOV 18: An explosive device was detonated near a security fence in the central Gaza Strip as IDF forces conducted “routine operational activity,” according to a statement from the Israeli military. The statement added that the Israeli Government continues to hold Hamas “solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it.”[92]

NOV 17: The Israeli military announced that a joint IDF-ISA operation in the Gaza strip targeted and killed a high-ranking official of the Salafist terror-group Army of Islam. The IDF reports that the target, Islam Yasin, was a close assistant to the organization’s leader, Mamtaz Durmush, and was personally involved in plans to kidnap Israelis in the Sinai Peninsula.[93]

NOV 15: IDF-Brigadier General Doron Gavish said that Iran has “transformed the rocket arsenal” of Hamas by providing sophisticated guidance systems. Davish called the development a “significant leap in the projectile capability” of Hamas’s arsenal.[94]

NOV 14: An Israeli intelligence official said that Hamas possesses rockets that can travel 50 miles, reaching Tel Aviv, and criticized Egyptian efforts to curb weapons smuggling into Gaza. Hamas is “making very big efforts to build up their military capabilities... building up their rocket capabilities in the Gaza Strip, and all this is happening because of one important thing: the smuggling of weapons through Egypt to the Gaza Strip… Egypt can stop all this smuggling of weapons within 24 hours if they want to do it.” [95]

NOV 14: The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) announced that it had conducted a nighttime raid confiscating an estimated $1.5 million in property from senior Hamas operative Ali Dadu. Dadu confessed to receiving $620,000 from Hamas and in August, was convicted of transferring funds to the group through Judea and Samaria. The operation “should serve a message to Hamas operatives and affiliates - involvement in money transfers from terror organizations may jeopardize their property.”[96]

NOV 12: Egyptian police discovered six smuggling tunnels linking the border-city of Rafah to Hamas-controlled territory in the Gaza Strip, according to the Egyptian daily al Masry al Youm. The paper also reported that police arrested two young Palestinians who had used the tunnels to illegally cross the border in a smuggling operation.[97]

NOV 11: The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) released a statement confirming that a joint IDF-ISA strike targeting a building in the Gaza Strip, “in which armed militants were hiding,” was a direct hit. The IDF reported that the militants had planted explosive devices prior to the attack and could be involved in a November 10 assault on an IDF patrol. “The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it. The IDF will continue to respond harshly to any attempt to use terror against the State of Israel.” [98]

NOV 9: The IDF announced that senior Hamas MP Mahmoud al Ramahi was arrested in Ramallah on Tuesday night. An army spokesman told AFP that Ramahi was arrested “for being involved in recent Hamas activities” and “was taken in for security questioning.”[99]

NOV 9: Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff, General Gabi Ashkenazi said the IDF has started building “target banks” for a future conflict with Hamas. Ashkenazi said that since “Hamas chooses to fight within an urban setting,” the IDF would take steps to minimize collateral damage and strike before militants could “hide among civilians.”[100]

NOV 6: The IDF announced that the IAF struck two “terror-linked sites” in southern Gaza, including a Hamas smuggling tunnel to Egypt, in response to the firing of a Qassam rocket from Gaza into Israel. “The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it. The IDF will continue to respond harshly to any attempt of terror against the State of Israel.”[101]

NOV 6: The Israeli military released a statement saying that a rocket was fired into southern Israel from Hamas-controlled areas in the Gaza Strip. An Israeli Defense Force (IDF) spokesman said that there were no casualties and no major damage reported as the rocket exploded in a field near the border.[102]

NOV 3: The Israeli military confirmed that Army of Islam member Mohammed Nemnem was killed in a Gaza airstrike on November 2.  Military spokesman Barak Raz said the attack was executed because the military “had the intelligence and means to carry out the operation.” Nemnem had been “personally involved in directing several terrorist attacks against Israeli targets… and against American and Israeli targets in the Sinai Peninsula in cooperation with Hamas elements in the Gaza Strip.”[103]

NOV 1: The Israeli Security Agency (ISA) presented reports on Hamas’s increasingly aggressive use of the internet, print-media, and education to advance Hamas’s Islamic values across Palestine. The ISA says Hamas’s efforts come “in the spirit of the strategic Islamization process plan” and are aimed at the establishment of an Islamic state.[104]

OCT 29: Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that Israeli forces banned former Hamas minister Wasfi Kabaha from entering his home-village in the Jenin district. The Israeli commander spoke with Kabaha about the ban and the pending court decision to expel him from the West Bank. The commander also reportedly searched the homes of and spoke with several other Hamas figures.[105]

OCT 22: Palestinian Authority security officials seized a weapons cache in a residential area in Ramallah that reportedly belonged to Hamas and was intended “to target senior authority officials or the policy obligations of the authority," commander and spokesman for the Palestinian Security and Police Forces Adnan Damiri told the Jerusalem Post. A Hamas official denied that the group had any connection to the weapons cache.[106]

OCT 19: The IDF Judea and Sumaria Division is preparing for retaliatory Hamas attacks after the death of two operatives responsible for the Aug. 31 terror attack.  Central Command’s Intelligence Officer Col. Ronen said, “In the southern Judea region, places still exist where weapons and additional terrorist cells are concealed.  In the coming period they will attempt to execute terror attacks of the same type that we have recently seen.  The recent elimination does not necessarily deter additional terrorist cells from executing attacks.”[107]

OCT 18: Israeli security forces arrested Omar Abdelrazaq, a Hamas MP and senior official, in Hebron.  An Israeli military spokesman says he was brought in for “security questioning.”[108]

OCT 17: The Israeli Air Force targeted two terrorists preparing to launch rockets into Israel from northern Gaza.  Both men were killed.[109]

OCT 8: Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers raided a house in Hebron, killing two senior Hamas militants wanted in connection with the August 31 attack that killed four Israeli settlers, Nashat Karmi and Mammon Natsha.  The joint IDF-Shin Bet-Border Police operation also resulted in the arrest of six other suspects.[110]

OCT 7: The Israeli Air Force bombed a Hamas training camp in Gaza in retaliation for a rocket launching yesterday.  Reuters reported no casualties; however, other news sources reported that four people were wounded.[111]

OCT 6: In response to two Qassam rockets that were fired at Negev’s Eshkol Regional Council out of Gaza, the head of the council said that Hamas “only speak[s] the language of rockets.”[112]

OCT 2: Egyptian authorities destroyed four tunnels leading into Gaza, one of which was large enough to smuggle cars.  Egypt reports that it has destroyed over 20 tunnels in September, claiming that they are used to smuggle weapons for militants.  On September 21, security forces destroyed 15 tunnels into Gaza that were used to smuggle cars, petrol, and allegedly weapons.[113]

OCT 1: Fatah leaders have denounced the repeated statements made by Hamas leadership that reject Palestinian reconciliation, even after the positive meetings in Damascus last week.  Fatah spokesman Usamah al Qawasmi said, “The ball is now in the court of Hamas, and Hamas has to adopt a clear decision, which should be in the interest of our people, and which should entrench the national unity, as an approach among the ranks of the movement members, not as a political tactic to achieve certain interests.”[114]

SEPT 28: An Israeli airstrike killed three members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad at Bureij refugee camp in South Gaza city.  A second airstrike hit the home of a Hamas leader, but no injuries were reported.[115]

SEPT 22: A UN committee said that Israel and Palestine both failed to investigate war crimes that took place during Cast Lead.  Christian Tomuschat, chair of the UN committee of independent experts, said, “The investigations… remain incomplete in some cases or fall significantly short of meeting international standards in others.”[116]

SEPT 21: Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu warned Hamas against another round of violence which could disrupt the peace talks.  Netanyahu said, “I don’t recommend they test our determination in this matter.”[117]

SEPT 17: Israeli troops killed Iyad Abu Shilbaya, a local al Qassam Brigades commander, in Tulkarem in the West Bank.  The soldiers were reportedly trying to arrest Shilbaya before he charged the troops during a raid on the Nur Shams refugee camp.[118]

SEPT 16: The Israeli Air Force struck two weapons storage facilities in the northern and southern Gaza Strip in response to the nine projectiles fired into Israeli territory on September 15.[119]

SEPT 15: Israel Defense Forces Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said, “We will not let Hamas fire on our civilians and we have the capabilities to stop them.”  He also spoke about the current challenges facing the IDF, including attempts at “delegitimizing” it.[120]

SEPT 15: Israeli Environment Minister Gilad Erdan warned that continued attacks on Israel from Gaza could warrant a new offensive.  “We may be obliged to consider a second operation like Cast Lead,” Erdan said.[121]

SEPT 15: Israeli officials said that two of the nine mortar shells fired into Israel from Gaza contained white phosphorus, a chemical agent banned for use against human targets under international law.[122]

SEPT 15: The MEMRI Blog reports that the Iranian daily Jomhouri-e Eslami "stated that Hamas is the true representative of the Palestinians, and that its absence from the negotiations makes the negotiations sterile."[123]

SEPT 15: The Jerusalem Post reported that nine mortar shells and three Qassam-type rockets hit Israel in areas bordering Gaza, the largest number of projectiles launched from the Gaza in a single day since March 2009, according to the Israel Defense Forces website. No injuries or damages were reported. Israeli Commander of the Gaza Division Brigadier General Eyal Eisenberg said that the IDF held Hamas responsible for the rocket fire. “The Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas, which is a terrorist organization,” Eisenberg said.  He added that “Hamas is in control of the territory and we hold it responsible for what happens in the Strip.”[124]

SEPT 15: The Israel Air Force struck a Hamas-operated tunnel located on the Rafah Border in southern Gaza, killing one Palestinian and wounding two others.[125]

SEPT 14: The Israel Defense Forces reported that militants fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF contingent operating near the border in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF retaliated by launching tank shells at the suspected militants, and reportedly killed one of the militants.[126]

SEPT 14: The IDF fired tank shells and light fire at suspected Palestinian militants in northern Gaza, killing one of them, in response to two mortar shells fired at the Eshkol Regional Council Tuesday and an additional rocket fired at Ashkelon overnight.  Commander of the Gaza Brigade, Brigadier General Eyal Eisenberg, said, “Over the past few days, we have witnessed an increase in attempts by terrorist organizations to attack using rockets in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip, in light of the progress of political negotiations. . . . The Hamas organization controls the area and we hold it accountable for everything that takes place there.”[127]

SEPT 14: Fatah spokesman Usama al Qawasimi reportedly said that "Hamas's alliance with Tehran has caused harm to the Palestinian cause and to the higher interest of the Palestinian people." BBC reported that Qawasimi "said that this alliance had a direct impact on the current state of division. This impact resulted from Tehran's desire to use the Palestinian issue as a card in the venues of the international forums, with no regard to the dangers that are looming in the future or to the best interest of the Palestinian people."[128]

SEPT 13: Egyptian security forces arrested 12 gold merchants in Cairo and throughout rest of the country for allegedly assisting Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s bodyguard smuggle large amounts of gold into Gaza.[129]

SEPT 13: Israel released Hamas-affiliated member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Muhammad Jamal al Natsheh, after eight years in custody.[130]

SEPT 12: An Israeli tank fired on a group of Palestinians near the town of Beit Hanoun, killing three men.  The Israeli army later admitted that this was a mistake and that the men were civilians.  The Popular Resistance Committees in Palestine took credit for concurrent fire into Israel from that location and added that “our heroes who implemented the mission are safely back in their base.”[131]

SEPT 12: Haaretz reported that militants in Gaza fired three mortar shells into northern Negev, with no injuries or damage reported. In response, an Israel Defense Forces shelling killed three Palestinians at the border between Israel and Gaza.[132]

SEPT 12: Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported that Hamas officials accused the Palestinian Authority of raiding the homes of two Hamas leaders, Sheikh Hamed Bitawi and Majed Hamami, and detaining their relatives as part of an investigation into Hamas's attack on Israeli settlers on August 31. Forces reportedly detained Fadel al Bitawi, Sheikh Hamed Bitawi's son, and Hamami himself.[133]

SEPT 12: The Israeli navy is conducting tests of a new missile defense system that will use radar to detect and track incoming missiles and electronic warfare systems to jam missile signals.  Israel developed the new system to counter a growing capability threat from Hamas and Hezbollah.[134]

SEPT 10: Militants fired a rocket at Israel out of Gaza immediately after a series of air raids by the Israeli Air Force.  Two members of the Hamas security force were wounded during the strikes.  No injuries were reported from Hamas’s fire.[135]

SEPT 9: The Israeli Air Force executed air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza, including a Hamas security compound and training camps.  No injuries were reported.[136]

SEPT 4: The Israeli Air Force hit a “terror tunnel” and two smuggling tunnels in Gaza in response to an attack on Sdot Negev Regional Council on the same day and the West Bank shootings two weeks prior.[137]

SEPT 4: The Washington Post reported that since Hamas's August 31 shooting attack on Israeli settlers, Palestinian security services detained an estimated 300 Hamas members in the West Bank.[138]

SEPT 3: Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah praised Hamas for the shooting of the four Israeli settlers near Hebron as the “way to free Jerusalem and Palestine.” He also stated that the direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis would fail and that forces in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Iran are aiding in preventing Israel and the United States from creating a “new Middle East.”[139]

AUG 31: U.S. envoy George Mitchell said that American negotiators do not believe Hamas will join the peace talks resuming this week. However, Mitchell did state that the United States would “welcome the full participation by Hamas and all relevant parties” as soon as these groups comply with democracy and renounce violence.[140]

AUG 28: In the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian police raided three missile caches in al Hasana of the northern Sinai, al Daqqaq of the central Sinai, and Nakhl finding approximately 190 missiles and 1,500 bullets prepared for Gaza. The missiles appear to be Russian-made SA-7 missiles, or “Strela” missiles, which are not considered advanced weapons. Egyptian forces also found ten anti-tank mines and weapons stashes in Rafah and two stores of machine guns and explosives in Sheikh Zuwayid.[141]

AUG 25: A Palestinian Authority source said the PA has made dozens of arrests of Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in the West Bank over the past two weeks.[142]

AUG 23: A Palestinian liaison official said Israeli authorities will open two crossings into Gaza today for the delivery of approximately over 300 truckloads of goods and fuel.[143]

AUG 17: Israeli war planes bombed weapons smuggling tunnels and a “terror tunnel” in the southern Gaza cities of Rafah and Khan Younis, causing no injuries. The Israeli military also reported targeting a “weapons manufacturing site in the central Gaza Strip.”[144]

AUG 7: Fatah’s European spokesman Jamal Nazzal cautioned a British delegation against holding unofficial meetings with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and deputized Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Ahmed Bahar for fear of damaging Palestinian reconciliation efforts.[145]

AUG 6: Israeli Brigadier General Nitzan Alon said that Hamas in Damascus is encouraging West Bank cells to kidnap Jews as leverage for the release of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. Alon stated, “The threat of kidnapping is significant.”  Settlement leaders held meetings with their residents to discuss the risks.[146]

AUG 5: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli investigations reveal Hamas’s involvement in the August 2 rocket attacks on Eilat and Aqaba. He added that Israel will respond to further attacks with force.[147]

AUG 5: The U.S. State Department released its “Country Reports on Terrorism 2009.” According to the report, Syria and Iran continue to sponsor Hamas by providing weapons, training, and funding. While Hamas has maintained a cease-fire with Israel, Israeli officials believe that relative peace has allowed militant groups to rearm and reorganize. The report states that Hamas has not sponsored suicide bombers and that the organization has several thousand operatives and a 9,000-person Palestinian Interior Ministry paramilitary group called “Executive Force.”[148]

AUG 4: Israeli forces shelled an area east of Khan Younis killing one Palestinian and wounding two others, the identities of whom are unknown. The Israeli forces targeted a group of militants east of Abassan village with three shells, responding to three rockets fired at southern Israel from Gaza.[149]

AUG 2: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas that “Israel reserves the right to defend its citizens and we will continue to use all means to protect the people of Israel” after a weekend of rocket attacks launched from Gaza.[150]

JULY 31: An Israeli missile strike in central Gaza killed Hamas al Qassam Brigades commander Essa al Batran from the Bureij refugee camp. Israeli planes struck several sites in northern, central, and southern Gaza in retaliation for a rocket fired by Gaza militants on July 30. Israeli tanks also fired several rounds and flares into northern Gaza. Over 150 police officers were in the area before the strike occurred.[151]

JULY 30: Israeli warplanes fired missiles at several targets in Gaza, wounding eight people. The planes shot at least four missiles at buildings used by Hamas security forces. Hamas ordered the evacuation of its security offices.[152]

JULY 21: The Israeli army confirmed that it has killed two Palestinians, including an Islamic Jihad member, and wounded seven others in northern Gaza.[153]

JULY 20: The Israel Security Agency dismantled part of a Hamas cell south of Hebron. Members of the cell would disguise themselves as Jewish motorists and offer Israeli hitch-hikers rides in the West Bank. This cell was behind the June 14 killing of Israeli policeman Sgt. Maj. Yehoshua Sofer on Route 60. Israeli security forces have arrested four members of the cell and recovered a stockpile of munitions, including three AK-47 assault rifles. The detainees have confessed to the murder.[154]

JULY 19: Egypt stated that it could not open the Rafah crossing permanently because of Hamas’s ambitions to turn Gaza into an Islamic emirate.[155]

JULY 19: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with Syrian President Bashar al Assad, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.[156]

JULY 18: Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh invited Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to visit Gaza during a meeting with Libyan charity officials responsible for the aid ship.[157]

JULY 18: EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton visited Gaza and called for more international pressure on Israel to allow greater freedom of movement for people and goods in and out of Gaza. Ashton did not meet with any Hamas officials, but she visited the Middle East Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Lab Company and the Abu Eidah Company for Concrete and Construction. The European Union pledged 22 million euros to reconstruct Gaza’s private sector.[158]

JULY 16: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro said that the spread of sophisticated rockets was the greatest immediate threat to Israel’s security, especially if Hamas or Hezbollah acquired the weapons. He stated that the U.S. “stands shoulder-to-shoulder” with Israel.[159]

JULY 14: Shin Bet and Israel Defense Forces arrested four Hamas members suspected of murdering Israeli policeman Yehoshua Sofer in the South Hebron Hills on June 14.[160]

JULY 13: Israeli naval vessels intercepted a Libyan aid ship approximately 100 kilometers from Gazan waters. Israel said that it would allow the ship to dock at an Israeli port or the Egyptian al Arish port.[161]

JULY 13: Israeli shelling killed a Palestinian woman and wounded four others in central Gaza. The attacks led to clashes between Palestinian fighters and Israeli forces.[162]

JULY 12: Israeli troops arrested six Palestinians in Hebron and Jenin for being “wanted activists” associated with anti-Israel militant groups. Israeli troops also entered the Gaza Strip near Khan Younis and destroyed farms near the security fence.[163]

JUNE 30: Israeli police forces arrested Hamas leader Abu Tir a second time for refusing to leave Jerusalem, as required by an Israeli court order. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfield said that Abu Tir would appear in court on July 1. [164]

JUNE 30: Russia said that its contact with Hamas aims to support Palestinian reconciliation. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Russia has contact with both Hamas and those who consider Hamas a terrorist group.[165]

JUNE 29: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to take advantage of Moscow’s good relations with Hamas and pressure the group into releasing Gilad Shalit. Shalit’s family, along with 3,000 supporters, arrived in Haifa for the third day of a march protesting his capture.[166]

JUNE 29: In northern Gaza, the Israeli Air Force killed one man and wounded two others suspected of belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, not Hamas.[167]

JUNE 25: Israeli President Shimon Peres called on the Quartet to engage Hamas to lead Hamas to renounce violence and negotiate peace with Israel, stating that “Now the policy is again to encourage.”[168]

JUNE 24: The Israeli army arrested four Palestinians, allegedly “wanted activists,” in the West Bank after conducting raids in Bethlehem. In Gaza, Israeli troops entered the enclave with tanks and bulldozers, destroying fields in Khan Younis. There was gunfire, but no reported injuries.[169]

JUNE 24: Palestinian President Abbas called Israel’s move to expel four major Hamas officials from Jerusalem, including Mohammed Abu Tir, former minister for Jerusalem affairs Khaled Abu Arafa, and MPs Ahmad Atoun and Mohammed Totah, counter-productive to peace.[170]

JUNE 20: Israel released Hamas Member of Parliament Naif al Rajoub to the West Bank. He was arrested in 2006 after Gaza militants captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.[171]

JUNE 13: Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa refused to address a press conference after his three-hour meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza. Moussa, whose visit focused on Palestinian reconciliation, later toured a refugee camp and spoke with UN officials after.[172]

JUNE 9: Sudan expressed its support for Palestinian reconciliation and held talks with the Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. During the talks, Hamas leaders discussed Sudanese issues, including Darfur.[173]

JUNE 7: Israel killed five armed al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades members who were allegedly training to swim along the Mediterranean coast to an Israeli city.  Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades said that the divers were members of a marine unit training off the coast of Gaza.  Hamas claimed that an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a group of Hamas militants and seriously wounded one man.[174]

JUNE 4: Israeli police have ordered four Hamas legislators to leave Israel by the end of June unless they renounce their affiliation with Hamas.[175]

JUNE 3: The UN announced that Hamas is breaking into charity offices in the Gaza Strip and closing them.[176]

JUNE 3: The United States government said that the Turkish aid organization Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH) behind the flotilla had contacts with Hamas. They had met with senior Hamas officials in Turkey, Syria, and Gaza over the past three years.[177]

JUNE 2: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel will not let “Iranian rockets, missiles and other weaponry” into Gaza. He stressed that weapons were not a “theoretical challenge or a theoretical threat” because Israel has intercepted weapons shipments from Iran.  Netanyahu said, “These missiles can reach Ashdod, Beersheba . . . Tel Aviv and very soon the outskirts of Jerusalem.”[178]

JUNE 1: Egyptian security forces are holding three suspects, including a Palestinian, for 15 days for suspicion of membership in the Muslim Brotherhood and for seeking to train cadres to sneak into Palestinian lands and join Hamas.[179]

MAY 26: Israel launched air strikes in Gaza after Palestinian militants associated with al Qaeda fired rockets and mortar shells at Israel. A dozen Palestinians were wounded, and an airport and Hamas training camp were hit.[180]

MAY 25: According to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the EU is not stressing the three conditions it requires of Hamas to gain international legitimacy. These include disavowing terrorism, recognizing Israel, and accepting previous agreements.[181]

MAY 19: A delegation led by Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal met with Libyan leader al Qaddafi in Tripoli. They discussed developments, especially Palestinian reconciliation and the blockade.[182]

MAY 11: Russian President Medvedev and Syrian President al Assad met with Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to discuss Palestinian reconciliation and the release of Gilad Shalit. Medvedev stressed the importance of reconciliation and the humanitarian situation in Gaza.[183]

MAY 1: South African Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim arrived in Gaza to hold talks with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. He was joined by six other delegates.[184]

APRIL 28: Hamas officials claimed that Egyptian forces pumped a crowd-dispersal gas into a tunnel, killing four and injuring six Palestinians, calling the act a crime and blaming American pressure on Cairo. Egypt denied the claim .[185]

APRIL 26: The Indonesian People’s Representative Council Deputy Speaker Anis Matta and members of the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Board expressed support for Hamas’s attempts to fight for the rights of Palestinians through international lobbying. This statement was made during a visit by a Hamas delegation represented by Muhamed Naser, Munir Said, and Khaled Ahmed.[186]

APRIL 26: Israeli security forces killed Ali Ismail Ahmed Swaiti, a member of al Qassam Brigades, in the town of Beit Awwa near Hebron. According to Israeli military, Swaiti had been involved in at least six attacks in the West Bank between 1999 and 2004.[187]

MARCH 29: Ehud Barak said that Hamas could be trying to restart clashes after two Israeli soldiers and four Palestinian gunmen were killed in a clash on the Gazan border. The Israeli troops saw gunmen planting a bomb and the troops were ambushed when they attempted to neutralize the bomb.[188]

MARCH 22: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal paid a secret visit to Saudi Arabia to discuss the upcoming Arab summit. Sources say that it is now impossible for reconciliation to occur before the summit. At the same time, Fatah’s Azzam al Ahmed and Hamas’s Musa Abu Marzuq met in Damascus to discuss the reconciliation.[189]

MARCH 18: Israel blamed Hamas for the rocket fired from Gaza into an Israeli border village that killed a Thai worker; however, the jihadi Salafist group Ansar al Sunna claimed credit for the attack.[190]

MARCH 14: Israeli troops in Ramallah arrested Maher Ouda, a senior Hamas commander responsible for killing 10 Israelis, and Ibrahim Hamed, chief of Hamas’s military wing. Hamas accused Fatah of aiding in the operation.[191]

FEB 1: The Israeli army warned its officers to be prepared for any attacks after the assassination of senior Hamas military commander Mahmoud al Mabhouh. Israeli police found and disposed of two barrels full of explosives washed up on Israeli beaches north of Gaza.[192]

FEB 1: Israel expressed concerns that Hamas will work with Hezbollah to strike Israel after the assassination of senior Hamas military commander Mahmoud al Mabhouh.[193]

JAN 16: Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri said that during Hamas leader Meshaal’s last visit to Iran, Hamas was given total access to the locations of secret Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard cells throughout the Arab world as well as access to “espionage issues, arms smuggling, and extremist elements, especially in Egypt and the Gulf countries.”[194]

JAN 7: The Palestinian Authority seized 10 Hamas members in the West Bank. Sheikh Wajih Qawwas, Ahmed Nazzal, Abbas Jaara, Bara Yousif, Bilal Salim, Sabia Ayyash, Sheikh Muhammad Awad al Jammal, Muhammad Abu al Hayja, Zuheir Musa, and Omar Abu al Rab were arrested from Qalqiliya, Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron, Salit, and Jenin.[195]

JAN 7: Palestinian Authority official Tayeb Abdel Rahim accused Hamas of serving Iranian interests over Palestinian or Arab ones. Abdel Rahim hinted that Syria and Iran had intervened for Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to set up the meeting between him and Saudi Arabia. He continued to call for reconciliation between the two groups and said that Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and General Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman will meet with President Obama in an attempt to convince him to take a position involving the Arab-Israeli conflict.[196]

JAN 6: Hamas supporters and Egyptian troops exchanged gunfire. A 21-year-old Egyptian soldier was killed in a watchtower, over a dozen Gazans were wounded, and nine Egyptian guards were hurt by rocks and tear gas. Tensions between the two sides are growing as Egypt continues to build a steel barrier along the border. Egypt denied some vehicles from the international aid convoy “Viva Palestina” entrance to the enclave.[197]

JAN 6: Hezbollah contacted the Hamas leadership and expressed disappointment over Hamas’s residential building and drills that occurred in Dahiyeh without Hezbollah’s knowledge. Hamas decided to close its office in Haret Hreik until the issue is resolved.[198]

JAN 6: British MP George Galloway led an aid convoy into Gaza and was greeted by Hamas officials. The convoy was embraced by Hamas officials Usama Hamdan, Talal Nasser, Musa Abu Marzuq, and Khaled Meshaal. Abu Marzuq maintained that Hamas will carry out violent measures as long as the Israeli occupation continues.[199]

JAN 5: One member of the al Qassam Brigades was killed in an air raid. The target was in the al Qararah area in eastern Khan Younis. The Brigades have stated that they do not wish to incite a war.[200]

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HAMAS STATEMENTS

DEC 30: Hamas issued a statement from its Damascus base condemning the arrest of Hamas MP Khalil Rabai by Israeli troops, stating, “The continuing arrests reveal the Zionist policy of striking at the symbols of the Palestinian people in the West Bank, and seeks to break their will and prevent them from dealing with crimes of the Zionists and their settlement policy.”[201]

DEC 29: Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad told the Arab nations that they “must not wait for an American permission” to help rebuild the Gaza Strip, having failed to deliver billions of dollars in aid to Palestine as promised following the 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict. Hamad noted that “Rebuilding the security posts is a message to the Israeli occupation that it cannot break us.”[202]

DEC 28: Press TV reported that Hamas official Musa Abu Marzuq said that Israelis “can’t accomplish anything against the people, who resist the occupation.” Referencing the 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict, he added that “They want(ed) to accomplish the many aims at that time and the Israeli troops failed to accomplish any of those aims.”

DEC 27: According to Naharnet, Hamas official in Lebanon Ali Baraka stated that “Efforts are being carried out by Palestinian factions to form a joint coordination committee to neutralize the camps from any crisis that may occur in Lebanon as a result of the indictments” by the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon.[203]

DEC 27: Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab al Ghusain stated on the second anniversary of Israeli Operation Cast Lead that “There were 366 sons of the police and security services martyred in the conflict.”[204]

DEC 25: Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that Ahmed Jabari, Hamas military commander in Gaza, said in a letter published in a Hamas magazine that Israelis had only two choices: “death or departing Palestinian lands.” He added, “Our resistance will continue as long as the Zionists remain.”[205]

DEC 25: Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called Canada’s decision to continue its designation of the group as a terrorist organization “a clear bias to Israel,” adding that the decision “encourages Israel to commit more crimes against the Palestinian people.”[206]

DEC 25: Hamas’s website reported that senior commander of Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades Mohammed Deif told Israel in a statement, “You are going to disappear and Palestine would remain to us with its cities and towns… no matter how long it takes and no matter how you try to obliterate its features, we will not raise the white flag to you as long as there is one Muslim on this planet.”[207]

DEC 25: Hamas’s website reported that Abu Obeida, the spokesman for Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades, stated in a press conference in the Gaza Strip that “The recent attempts of escalation by Zionist enemy is a play in fire, and enemy should realize that escalating aggression will not be met with silence, and calm from side of the Al Qassam Brigades is not a weakness or a fear, but an ‘evaluation of the situation.’” He added, “Our weapons are few compared to those of the Israeli occupation, but we have something that will worry the occupation.”[208]

DEC 24: Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar stated during a Hamas rally in southern Gaza Strip, “At this stage of time, we announce our commitment to the truce with the occupation [Israel]. This doesn't mean that we are weak or we are not ready to struggle and sacrifice.”[209]

DEC 24: Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that Hamas spokesman Taher al Nunu announced that Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh decided to reorganize his cabinet, noting that “Hanieyah designated Kahlil Al-Haya to head the committee with Ismail Al-Ashqar and Yousef Rezqa, Haniyeh's political advisor, as members.”[210]

DEC 23: Hamas spokesman Taher al Nunu stated that in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh asked the UN to “punish Israel for its crimes against the Palestinians.”[211]

DEC 23: Hamas spokesman Taher al Nunu discredited Israeli reports that Iranian and Syrian experts are rebuilding Hamas’s military arsenal in the Gaza Strip, calling the reports “part of an incitement campaign the Israeli occupation uses to attack Gaza.” He added, “Israel tries to globalize the crisis and gain international sympathy by claiming that foreign experts and people from al-Qaida came to give training to the resistance fighters.” Abu Obeida, the spokesman for Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades, also weighed in, calling the reports “baseless and untrue.”[212]

DEC 23: Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh admitted that the group is experiencing financial difficulties, stating that the budget requires “$25 million a month to fund the government and the ministries… And it’s really difficult to provide that.”[213]

DEC 22: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal stated that Palestinians “weren't interested in a fake state that needs to ask for recognition from the international community. It is interested in a real state on its land, without occupation and for true sovereignty on the entirety of Palestine with its capital of Jerusalem.”[214]

DEC 17: Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar stated in an interview, “We are not in a hurry to buy or to sell our national interest because this is not the proper market.” He added, “They told me... you cannot stay isolated and you are not going to survive more than two months, now we finished five years and we survived, and we stayed, and we faced two wars.”[215]

DEC 14: Fars News Agency reported that Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades released a statement, saying, “Refugees are our people and nation and their return is an inalienable and undeniable right and our captives are brave warriors of Palestine and freedom torch, and their release stands atop our priorities.”[216]

DEC 14: Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said at a rally celebrating the group’s 23rd anniversary in the Gaza Strip: “Let it be understood far and near that after the war, the siege, the internal and external plots: we will not recognise Israel.” Haniyeh added that “Hamas has not failed, Hamas has not collapsed… Hamas did not fail to bring together government and resistance.”[217]

DEC 14: Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri commented on the Gaza Strip rally, stating, “The basic message the big crowds will send to all the parties is that lots of people support Hamas and the project of Hamas is the project of all the people.” He added, “The aim of the embargo on the Hamas movement and the Gaza Strip was to force us to raise the white flag of surrender, but Hamas will not break.” Hamas leader Osama Muzini said that “All people who came to the streets came to say yes to Hamas and to its model of government and resistance.”[218]

DEC 13: Hamas issued a statement ahead of its 23rd anniversary, saying “We will cede none of it [Palestinian land], and we will not recognise the so-called state of Israel.” The statement also noted that Israel’s “methods of Judaisation” of Jerusalem, which will be the “capital of the state of Palestine,” will be combated.[219]  

DEC 13: Hamas issued a press release in celebration of the group’s 23rd anniversary, stating: “The Hamas Movement was able, thanks to God Almighty, to establish an organizational structure based on sound education, good morals and constructive commitment. This structure created the heroes like the martyrs, the prisoners, the exiles, the wounded and the national figures who turned into an integrated enterprise of leaders and cadres being rallied around by the masses of the Palestinian people.”[220]

DEC 9: Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar stated that “Israeli occupation will end. It does not have any future among us. Our Palestinian principles are not up for negotiation by anyone. Humanity is a sacred value to us as well as our land, which is not subject to elections, or referendum, or compromises, buying or selling.”[221]

DEC 8: Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the failure to halt Israeli settlement construction a “grave retraction,” which would “encourage Israel to commit more crimes against the Palestinian people.”[222]

DEC 8: Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum condemned the expulsion of Mohammed Abu Tir, calling it a “clear violation of international conventions.” He added that the act is “confirmation that the occupying forces are set on continuing their crimes against our people in the face of an absent international community and in the absence of international justice.”[223]

DEC 8: Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha commented on Israel’s easing of the exports ban from Gaza, calling the decision “an attempt to cover the real continuation of the blockade.” Gaza-based Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri called the Israeli decision a “propaganda manoevre” and encouraged Palestinians to “keep up the international pressure on the occupation.”[224]

DEC 8: According to Hamas’s al Qassam website, Hamas MP Ahmed Attoun said that the trial of Hamas leader Mohammed Abu Tir “was of political nature and was not based on any legal foundation.”[225]

DEC 6: The Hamas interior ministry stated that a Gaza court found three men guilty of collaborating with Israel: “The military court handed down a death sentence against one collaborator with the occupation, and prison terms of seven years and three years for two other collaborators.”[226]

DEC 5: Gaza-based Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called a wildfire in Israel which killed more than 40 people “strikes from God; Allah has attacked them from what they did not expect.”[227]

DEC 1: Gaza-based Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh stated that "Al-Qaeda is not present in the Gaza Strip, but there is resistance to the occupation." He noted that Hamas works to contain the “resistance” to Gaza and Palestine.[228]

DEC 1: Hamas issued a statement from its Damascus base condemning the arrest of its MP Naif al Rajoub “by the Zionist occupation forces which continue to hold 10 other members” as “a heinous crime committed against the Palestinian people’s representatives, and a violation of international laws.” The arrest was confirmed by the Israel army. [229]

NOV 30: Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab al Ghusain stated that “All the information that came from WikiLeaks [is] not new for us. We said that before, actually, even about the war on Gaza and the information we got that the Palestinian Authority and Egypt knew before about the war.”[230]

NOV 25: ABNA reported that Hamas issued a statement condemning a village raid and mosque demolition, saying, “We, in the Hamas movement, strongly condemn the thuggery of the Zionist army against our people in the Jordan valley villages and the Negev, and consider its criminal act today, which comes one day after the demolition of Abu Al-Ajjaj village as an expression of Zionist racist policies driven by sheer hate and based on violating the rights of the Palestinian people through deportation, forceful expulsion and demolishing mosque and homes in favour of Jewish settlement projects.”[231]

NOV 25: Hamas reported that “tens of (Israeli) military vehicles, including tanks and bulldozers have conducted a sudden invasion” in the town of Beit Hanoun “amid heavy gunfire.”[232]

NOV 23: Hamas released a statement denying claims that al Qaeda affiliated groups operate in the Gaza Strip. The group called these claims propaganda designed to “only help Israel justify its crimes against the Palestinians,” reported the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.[233]

NOV 23: Gaza-based Hamas official Ahmed Bahar called Israeli parliament “a parliament of terrorists which threatens the world’s peace and stability.” This statement came in response to the passing of an Israeli bill on November 22 which, in the event parliament failed to gain approval by two-thirds of the vote, would require a referendum to withdraw from Israeli-annexed land.  A Hamas statement called the bill “another new strike to the illusions of achieving peace with the Jewish entity.”[234]

NOV 27: People’s Daily Online reported that Gaza-based Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that “Israel is trying through its propaganda to mislead the world that the crossings are open and the [Gaza Strip] siege was eased. This is untrue, the siege is still going on and the crossing points are still closed.”[235]

NOV 27: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said, “Our inalienable rights are threatened with extinction if the scene in the West Bank does not change by launching the resistance against the Israeli occupation and the settlements.”[236]

NOV 26: Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha denied reports that Saudi security officials stopped senior Hamas leaders from travelling to Syria and redirected them to Egypt after making the pilgrimage to Mecca. Taha said the Hamas members had never planned to visit Syria, refuting claims that they intended to meet with the group’s Damascus-based leadership after making the pilgrimage to Mecca.[237]

NOV 26: Press TV reported that senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said the Obama administration is “just wasting our time and giving some hints that something can be achieved by this process.” He added, “If there is a real resistance against Israel, then Israel will leave.”[238]

NOV 20: Hamas released a statement commemorating the 75th martyrdom anniversary of Sheikh Qassam saying that “to give up an inch of its land would be considered a ‘national crime’ and a stab in the back of those martyrs who died while defending Palestine.” The statement went on to say that “any settlement projects that concede rights and bargain over constants would not bind the Palestinian people” and that “resistance” was the only way forward. [239]

NOV 19: Hamas reported that six civilians were injured during Israeli airstrikes which “targeted several areas in the southern and central Gaza Strip.” The statement reported four more injuries in a strike on Deir al Balah.[240]

NOV 17: Hamas confirmed that Israeli drone strikes killed two “Palestinian commanders” in the central Gaza Strip. The group identified the two victims as brothers Islam and Mohamed Yasin, both members of the terror-group Army of Islam. Three other injuries were reported.[241]

NOV 14: Hamas Housing Minister Yousef Alamanti said that Iran will help finance the construction of 25,000 new apartments in the Gaza Strip.[242]

NOV 11: Hamas spokesman Khalil al Haya told Iran that Sh’ia are not welcome in Palestine “even in exchange for Iranian support for Hamas.”[243]

NOV 9: West Bank-based senior Hamas official Omar Abdel Razik reacted to the IDF’s arrest of Hamas MP Mahmoud al Ramahi by stating, “There is no justification for Ramahi’s arrest unless Israeli’s aim is to sabotage the reconciliation process.” [244]

NOV 9: Hamas released a statement from its Damascus base condemning the IDF’s arrest of MP Mahmoud al Ramahi as “a crime aimed at excluding anyone who calls for the defense and recovery of Palestinian rights.” Calling for his immediate release, the statement encouraged Hamas leaders to “halt all forms of security coordination (with Israel) which only allow it to cover up its crimes against the Palestinian people.”[245]

NOV 6: Hamas released a statement confirming that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) launched two strikes against targets in Gaza “in response to an earlier homemade projectile fired from Gaza at southern Israel.” The report acknowledged that one target was a smuggling tunnel on the Egyptian border and that the other was “an empty olive farm east of the city of Khan Younis.”[246]

NOV 6: Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said that Israelis “will soon be expelled” from Palestine. Zahar said that the Jewish people had been similarly expelled from Europe “because they betrayed, stole and corrupted these countries.” He called for unity with Fatah saying, “Together, with blood, we could liberate our lands and holy sites.”[247]

NOV 1: Hamas issued a statement condemning a Jerusalem church fire as an act of arson committed by “extremist Jewish settlers,” accusing Israel of “racist practices” and calling the arson a violation of all “international laws, norms and ethics.” Israeli Police spokesman Luba al Samri told Palestinian Ma’an News Agency that the fire was accidental. [248]

NOV 1: Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar distanced himself from claims that he called for an end to rocket strikes on Israel and called violators of the edict “mutineers against their own cause.” Zahar then drew distinctions between his group’s ceasefire and the actions of Fatah saying, "Fatah wants to prove that Hamas is an exact reproduction of Fatah when they used to confiscate weapons of resistance fighters and jail using the excuse of agreements with Israel. They think Hamas will follow in their footsteps. Hamas is not a reproduction of Fatah and will not follow in their footsteps."[249]

OCT 30: Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha refuted Kuwaiti media reports that his organization had engaged in covert prisoner-swap negotiations with Israel. Taha said the al Jarida story was “completely false” and that Hamas policy had not changed.[250]

OCT 28: Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar warned Israel against attacking the Gaza Strip, saying “They will pay a high price for entering Gaza. Israelis should think twice before making that decision." Zahar also reiterated the group’s belief that it “has the right to arm itself with whatever weapons it can obtain in order to defend the Palestinian nation."[251]

OCT 28: Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar made a series of statements criticizing what he perceived as Western bias and arrogant attitudes towards Islam and Palestinians: "We have the right to control our life according to our religion, not according to your religion. You have no religion, you are secular. You do not live like human beings. You do not (even) live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?" said Zahar according to Ynetnews.com. He went on to defend Hamas’s “Islamizing” policies in Gaza.[252]

OCT 28: Speaking with a delegation of French lawyers, deposed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh emphasized the need for open and direct communication with the West. “We need to clarify to the international community our stance and vision about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” he said.[253]

OCT 26: Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan cited the resolve of Palestinian prisoners as the reason behind the freeze in talks between Israel and Hamas about the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit [254]

OCT 25: Hamas Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmed Yousef refuted a Jordanian newspaper’s claim that he had rejected suicide bombings because they negatively impact the public’s view of Palestinians. Speaking with Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, Yousef said, “I don’t want to reply to what was said by Al-Dustur newspaper because I don’t care about nor do I trust in this outlet.”[255]

OCT 19: Abu Obeida, the spokesman of Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades, said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement is a new attempt to justify future Israeli military actions against the Palestinians.  “We will not comment on information claimed by Zionist enemy, but the future will witness and talk about the resistance performance in any future confrontation with the Zionists. . . . Resistance has the full right to have any means that effect on the Zionist enemy and harm it, our duty is to defend our people and our land by all the available means.”[256]

OCT 12: Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh conceded that Hamas may accept interim solutions to the Palestinian cause, with the precondition that any agreement not violate the Palestinian constants of maintaining a presence in Jerusalem and not recognizing Israel.  Aside from these caveats, Haniyeh claimed that Hamas “will not go against any Arab-Palestinian concord that would give the Palestinians a state on any freed territory, namely on the lands occupied in 1967.”[257]

OCT 12: During remarks made at the fourth general assembly of the Islamic Radio and Television Union hosted in Tehran, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh stressed the importance of the media war, saying that a “media victory leads to success in other battlefields,” including Iraq and Afghanistan.[258]

OCT 8: Hamas’s military wing, the al Qassam Brigades, vowed “quick, fierce” retaliation for the “criminal assassination” of al Qassam Brigades commanders Nashat Karmi and Mammon Natsha.  Hamas declared the Palestinian Authority responsible for coordinating with the Israelis during the Hebron operation, citing local eyewitness accounts of a significant plainclothes presence of Fatah personnel during the Israeli military operation.[259]

OCT 6: Hamas’s military wing, the al Qassam Brigades, threatened retaliation against Palestinian Authority targets “if the security authorities continue their campaign of aggression” in a statement responding to the arrests of West Bank activists with ties to Hamas.[260]

OCT 4: In a press release Hamas condemned the burning of a mosque in Beit Fujar village south of Bethlehem.  Hamas said the attack was a “serious racist policy aimed at targeting Islam, Palestinian people and its steadfast resistance.”[261]

OCT 3: Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh praised the Palestinian decision to halt negotiations as long as West Bank settlement construction continued and added that Palestinian reconciliation should take precedent.  Haniyeh said that the decision “must be followed up to show that it is not just a tactic but is a genuine desire to…work according to a unified national agenda.”[262]

OCT 2: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said that recognizing Israel as a Jewish state will hurt Palestinian refugees and Israeli-Arabs.  He said, “The occupation (Israel) fears the coming generation… they are preparing their plans after they failed to break these people who do not surrender and who pass on the mantle from one generation to another.”  Meshaal also said that politics must be put aside for “resistance and jihad come from society.”[263]

SEPT 29: Mahmud Zahar, a Hamas official, said Yasser Arafat urged Hamas to attack Israel when he felt that peace talks had failed.  Zahar said, “Arafat signaled to the Hamas movement to carry out a number of military operations in the heart of the Jewish state when he felt that the negotiations with the occupation government had failed.”[264]

SEPT 28: On the tenth anniversary of the al Aqsa Intifada, Hamas called for continued armed struggle against Israel and an abandonment of the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.  Ismail Radwan, spokesman for Hamas, said “This anniversary, we tell the negotiators; return to the mood of the people, who reject these negotiations, which encourage the enemy to commit more crimes against our people.”[265]

SEPT 27: Khaled Meshaal said in a CNN interview that Hamas will continue to fight the Israeli occupation, saying the resistance is a “legitimate and just cause, and therefore we will win no matter what.”[266]

SEPT 27: Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that the increased settlement activities in the West Bank demonstrates the poor intentions of the Israeli occupation.  Barhoum said that, “This requires a quick decision by President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from the negotiations and declare an end.”[267]

SEPT 27: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal expressed satisfaction with the recent Fatah-Hamas talks held in Damascus.  Meshaal said, “If we reconcile with each other, put the Palestinian (house) in order, and if we agree on a strategy to manage the conflict (with Israel), I think we will force the enemy to respect us.”[268]

SEPT 25: Al Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida said Friday that any Israeli attack on Gaza would be met with strong resistance, following a remark by an Israeli army commander that the next war on Gaza would be a, “more painful, complex, and powerful round.”[269]

SEPT 25: A statement released by al Qassam Brigades said Mahmud al Ahmarine died Saturday as a result of wounds inflicted by an Israeli attack earlier this month.  Ahmarine is one of three Palestinians to be killed by tank fire on the September 14th clash.[270]

SEPT 24: Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh praised the Syrian support for the Palestinian resistance and asked for continued support, despite American efforts to convince Syria otherwise.[271]

SEPT 23: A statement released by Hamas accuses the West Bank security forces of arresting 12 of its members.  The statement says the arrests were carried out, “in the framework of the ongoing campaign against the movement and its members in the West Bank.”[272]

SEPT 22: Hamas officials said that they had succeeded in arrested Israeli spies who had infiltrated their armed forces and assisted in killing top militants.  These arrests follow a months-long campaign by Hamas warning Gaza residents against collaborating with Israel.[273]

SEPT 23: Hamas leaders support the UN report released Wednesday that condemned the deadly Israeli raid on Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza in May.  Ezzat al Rashk, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, called for “international action to apply the recommendations of the mission of inquiry and to bring the leaders of the Zionist state before international courts.”[274]

SEPT 22: Hamas warned the Palestinian Authority that its crackdown following the killing of four Jewish settlers in the West Bank earlier this month could lead to a backlash.  Omar Abdel Razik, a Hamas official, told reporters, “The situation in the West Bank has become unbearable… Palestinian society is in a state of tension and the reason is the irresponsible actions of the security apparatus.  These acts could lead to bad consequences.”[275]

SEPT 22: Hamas has started a secretive campaign to capture Palestinians spying for the Israeli government in the Gaza strip.  Hamas has urged complete secrecy about the campaign, refusing to say who has been arrested.  Gaza-based political scientist Mukheimar Abu Sada reports that Hamas feels “the government has been completely infiltrated, that Israel knows more about Hamas than what they know about themselves.”[276]

SEPT 21: Hamas rulers say that Mohammed Dababish, an internal security official who was arrested in Cairo this week, was falsely accused of posing a threat to Egyptian security. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called Egypt’s arrest of Hamas security official Mohammed Dababish an “extremely dangerous” move by Cairo.  In his statement on Tuesday, Barhoum said, “the Egyptian authorities have yet to justify this behavior.”  Egyptian authorities later released him on September 24.[277]

SEPT 20: Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades released a statement claiming that propaganda video featuring Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit which was attributed to the group “was fabricated and false.”  The video features Shalit sitting at a table in a dark room flanked by two Hamas soldiers. At the end of the video the words “will the mission be completed” run across a black screen as gun shots are heard in the background.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a statement condemning the video. [278]

SEPT 20: In a statement, Hamas accused the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) forces of detaining 14 party affiliates across the West Bank.  The PNA has not denied Hamas’s accusations, but has said that the numbers supplied are exaggerated.  These accusations follow claims made on Saturday that PNA officials had arrested 22 party members and affiliates across the West Bank.[279]

SEPT 18: Hamas leader Fawzi Barhoum said that Israel’s intention of handing over control of the Karm Abu Salim crossing in Ramallah to the Fatah authority is another attempt at tightening the siege on Gaza.[280]

SEPT 18: Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the assassination of Hamas leader Iyad Abu Shilbaya on September 17 "...is a serious Israeli escalation and one of the fruits of the negotiations which gave the occupation the cover to commit this crime." Abu Zuhri also vowed "a selective response to the assassination which would never succeed in breaking the strength of resistance."[281]

SEPT 17: A statement on the al Qassam Brigades’ website announcing Iyad Abu Shilbaya’s martyrdom called for continued jihad.[282]

SEPT 14: Ahmad Jabari, a senior commander in Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades, vowed to continue on the path of jihad, saying, “The power of faith and doctrine … weapons, missiles, tunnels and martyrs . . . God has blessed us with victory in part of our land Palestine.”[283]

SEPT 13: Hamas released a video clip showing a "graphic simulation of the burning down of the High Court of Justice and the Bank of Israel buildings in Jerusalem, and cars with Palestinian flags driving across Ayalon Highway," reported YNet.[284]

SEPT 13: Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of detaining 35 of its members in the West Bank, saying that the PA has "renewed its campaign against [Hamas] leaders and affiliates," and calling on party members and supporters "to confront all attempts at arrest." Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported that, according to Hamas, the PA has detained up to 750 affiliates.[285]

SEPT 13: Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said that Hamas opposes the peace talks and that, “[Abbas] is not authorized to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people and any agreements produced by these negotiations will not be binding on our people.”[286]

SEPT 11: Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh condemned Pastor Terry Jones's calls for burning the Quran. Haniyeh said, "We are carrying a message for that insane lunatic American priest with thousands of people coming out to say the Quran is our constitution."[287]

SEPT 8: Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the arrest of Hamas members by the Palestinian Authority  a "national treason," and added that "The continuation of this criminal campaign crosses all red lines and is direct collaboration with the (Israeli) enemy in the light of day,” Barhoum said that the arrests will ". . . only increase Hamas' determination to continue the resistance."[288]

SEPT 8: Hamas warned the Palestinian Authority that it was “running out of patience” regarding the arrest campaign of Hamas leaders and warned West Bank officials to take note of what happened to Fatah members in Gaza.[289]

SEPT 7: Hamas senior official, Wasfi Kabaha, said that the al Qassam Brigades operates separately from the political wing of Hamas and that their recent attacks show that “You can’t ignore us.”[290]

SEPT 3: Hamas official Ismail al Ashqar said during World Jerusalem Day (al Quds Day) events in Gaza that "Jerusalem cannot be liberated through negotiations but through resistance and Jihad," and called negotiations treason against Palestinians.  Ashqar praised Iran, which also celebrated Jerusalem Day with mass rallies in major cities across the country. Hamas Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmed Yousef told Al Jazeera that the Palestinians do not support Abbas, saying "This is not the right way to hold talks . . . we know Abbas is in big trouble. He has to be following the dictation from the Americans to come to Washington and unfortunately the Arabs that were backing him [are] being co-opted by the US."[291]

SEPT 2: Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades issued a statement claiming responsibility for the second shooting attack near Ramallah.  “Al Qassam Brigades fulfill [sic] its promises by carrying out new heroic operation East of Ramallah, one day after Hebron operation. Al-Qassam Brigades declare its full responsibility for the following operation (carried out in East of Ramallah), as a normal and legal response to Zionist aggressions on the Palestinian civilians. . . Al Qassam Brigades open fire at the Zionist settlers near what so called "Rimonim junction area", near the Zionist illegal settlement of Kotchav Hashachar and East of West Bank city of Ramallah. Result: Two settlers were injured, one seriously [sic]. This operation is part of the repelling operations against the occupation assaults on Gaza Strip and West Bank, and as a response for the ongoing aggression against Palestinian people.”[292]

SEPT 1: Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack in Hebron.  “Al-Qassam Brigades is declaring its responsibility for the following operations . . . al Qassam Brigades open[ed] fire at the Zionist settlers near what so called ‘Kirat Arba’a,’ near Bani Na’em town North of Hebron. . . . Four settlers were killed.  These operations are part of the repelling operations against the occupation assaults on Gaza Strip and West Bank, and as a response for the ongoing aggression against Palestinian people.”[293]

AUG 31: Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri referred to the shooting attack in Hebron stating that “Hamas praises the attack and regards it as a natural response to the crimes of the occupation.[294]

AUG 24: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called the upcoming direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel “illegitimate,” forced by U.S. “coercion.”[295]

AUG 22: Hamas indefinitely postponed its proposed meeting with Fatah officials in Gaza due to the decision to reenter direct negotiations with Israel. Hamas government Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said the Palestinian Authority’s negotiations with Israel will not succeed.  On August 19, Haniyeh told Fatah officials, “Hamas does not cancel Fatah. The relations between us should be based on respect and political partnership.” In a call for unity talks he said, “Come, let’s have an understanding on points to be ratified.”[296]

AUG 17: Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh accused the Palestinian Authority of waging a war against Islam.  He said, “What is happening in the West Bank is a religious war that targets the pious people, particularly the new generation.”  He noted that the PA has taken new steps, including the banning of a sheikh affiliated with Hamas from preaching, to fight against religion.[297]

AUG 17: Hamas officials called on the Universal Postal Union and human rights groups to pressure Israel to end what it called a postal “blockade” on Gaza.[298]

AUG 15: Hamas issued a statement opposing direct talks with Israel: “Insisting on direct talks throws a life line to Israel as its isolation deepens…. A return to direct talks serves the U.S. and Zionist aim to liquidate the national rights of the Palestinian people.”  Other Palestinian groups, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Islamic Jihad, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, signed onto the statement.[299]

AUG 8: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal sent a message to the Jordanian government stating that Hamas was not in any way involved with the attack on Aqaba and that Hamas continues to ban any activity in Jordanian territory. Jordanian security services are carrying out an investigation into the attack and have contacted Egyptian officials. Jordanian Prime Minister Samir al Rifa’i stated that Jordan will punish and prosecute those responsible.[300]

AUG 8: A senior Hamas official said that Israel will not make any more compromises on the Gilad Shalit deal. A senior official in the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Ministry in Gaza Abdul Nasir Farawinah said that Israel permitted Hamas prisoners to hold a meeting and contact their leaders to push for a moderation of their demands for the deal.[301]

AUG 7: West Bank-based Hamas official Omar Abdul Razeq denied a secret meeting between Hamas and Israeli leaders saying, “Hamas leadership will never meet with any Israeli officials.” London-based Asharq al Awsat newspaper reported that a secret meeting regarding Hamas’s calls to kidnap Israeli settlers in the West Bank was held between Razeq and Israeli officials in Netanya on August 3.[302]

AUG 7: Damascus-based Hamas political bureau member Sami Khater denied Hamas’s involvement in firing rockets from the Sinai at Aqaba and Eilat. He said Hamas had “no interest” and that Israel may have been responsible for attacking the Palestinians.[303]

AUG 5: Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades released a statement emphasizing Hamas’s lack of involvement in the Eilat and Aqaba attacks. Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida stated that “Military acts from the resistance are carried out inside of Palestine,” and if his forces had been involved then “the brigades would not have been afraid of announcing the attacks as soon as they were carried out.” The Brigades only work within “historical Palestine,” but Hamas welcomes “any resistance targeting the occupation, whether from in [or] outside of Palestine.”[304]

AUG 5: Hamas spokesman Salah al Bardawil urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not to engage in “absurd talks” with Israel.[305]

AUG 3: Hamas official Salah al Bardawil denied that Hamas was involved with the August 2 attack on Eilat. He called all Israeli accusations “meaningless.”[306]

JULY 27: Hamas leader Salah al Bardawil warned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas against holding direct talks with Israel, saying “We warn [Abbas] of the consequences of returning to negotiations, either with Arab cover or under pressure from America because this will deepen the divide and put our cause on the brink of collapse.”[307]

JULY 24: Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that “The UN call to international organizations to use the over-land road to Gaza instead of the sea is unacceptable and illegal.” Abu Zuhri stressed the need to send aid by sea to break the blockade despite the UN statement.[308]

JULY 24: Hamas leader Ismail Radwan stated that “The European Union and France shouldn’t hesitate in having direct dialogue with Hamas on the basis of direct dialogue and not on the basis of containment.” French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said that France is ready to hold direct talks with Hamas.[309]

JULY 17: In light of the next day’s visit from the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to Gaza, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the visit “will be an opportunity for her to closely see the difficult and tragic humanitarian situation of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip….We want this visit to completely end the Israeli siege.”[310]

JULY 14: Hamas representative in Lebanon Ali Baraka said that the stabilization of Lebanese Palestinian refugee camps and better relations between the Palestinians and Lebanese people would come through the granting of civil and humanitarian rights to Palestinians in Lebanon.[311]

JULY 11: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu asked former U.S. President Bill Clinton to help in the release of Gilad Shalit. Hamas spokesman Dr. Ahmed Yusuf said that Hamas never received information regarding Clinton’s visit to the Gaza Strip, but said that the movement welcomes “every effort to expose Israeli crimes against the people of Gaza.”[312]

JULY 10: Hamas released more than 15 collaborators with Israel who had turned themselves in to Hamas authorities. Dr. Anwar al Bar’awi, head of political and moral guidance in Hamas’s Interior Ministry, said that most of the collaborators were poor and under 20 years old and that 49 percent of them had a low level of education.[313]

JULY 8: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal wrote to Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman saying that he is ready to meet Fatah leaders in Cairo to discuss reconciliation. He reiterated that Hamas is ready to sign the document after reaching a bilateral agreement.[314]

JULY 8: Hamas MP Salah al Bardawil said that Cairo did not tell Hamas that it was barring the entry and exit of Hamas members through the Rafah crossing. Al Bardawil stated that there is no distinction between Hamas and the Palestinian people because the movement represents 60 percent of the people. Any ban against Hamas is a ban against the Palestinian people, he said, and would prevent reconciliation efforts.[315]

JULY 4: According to Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, the siege on Gaza will end because “the siege has practically lost its political objectives.” He does not believe that the PNA does enough to end the blockade, but he has a very positive attitude toward the Turkish government and its support. Meshaal stated, “Israel wants to hold the international community responsible for failing to release Shalit in order to appear as a victim.”[316]

JUNE 30: Hamas accused the PNA of detaining 13 supporters, including prominent leader Yahya Zeeyud from Jenin and Mohammad Hashem Khader from Qalqiliya.[317]

JUNE 28: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal warned Israel that the longer it refuses to make a deal with Hamas regarding Shalit, the greater Hamas’s demands will grow. He said, “Our demands for Gilad Shalit’s release are clear, and as time goes by we will raise the bar on our demands.” Shalit’s family launched a cross-country protest march on June 27.[318]

JUNE 20: Hamas official Mahmoud al Zahar urged the PNA to allow terror organizations to fire rockets at Israel from the West Bank. He demanded that the Palestinian Authority stop pursuing the organizations and added that Hamas would not change its policy of resistance.[319]

JUNE 18: Hamas official Salah Bardawil said that the Palestinian National Authority and Egypt have accepted in principle proposals for Palestinian reconciliation, commenting only that they contain a practical mechanism for addressing Hamas’s reservations.[320]

JUNE 18: Hamas’s representative in Lebanon Ali Baraka commented on the issue of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. He stated that their situation is political, and it is more in Lebanon’s interest to recognize the refugees’ rights than it is in the Palestinians’ interest.[321]

JUNE 18: Hamas leader and member of the Legislative Council in Dubai Mohammad Shihab said that Israel’s move to allow more goods to flow to Gaza is not enough. Smuggling will continue unless there is a full re-opening of the borders.[322]

JUNE 16: Damascus-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that Israel’s inquiry into the flotilla incident is insufficient. He stated that Israel is “trying to deceive world public opinion and sidestep the international demand to set up an independent international commission of inquiry under UN supervision.”[323]

JUNE 15: Hamas praised an attack by Palestinian gunmen in Hebron who killed an Israeli policeman and wounded two others on June 14. Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Fayyad condemned the attack.[324]

JUNE 10: Hamas denounced the UN Security Council’s sanctions of Iran as unjust. Hezbollah warned that new sanctions will “complicate” matters in the Middle East and ignore the “threat to international stability” that Israel poses.[325]

JUNE 10: Hamas denounced President Abbas’s statement that he would never take away the right of the Jewish people to Palestine. Hamas says that giving Israel what it wants will not attain peace; rather, it will make Israel more arrogant.[326]

JUNE 10: Hamas described President Obama’s call for easing the blockade on Gaza “meaningless.” Hamas said the promised $400 million in U.S. aid to Gaza has no merit because it will all end up in Abbas’s hands. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Abbas of stabbing the Palestinian people in the back by continuing the peace talks with Israel.[327]

JUNE 8: Hamas denied having sent an independent Palestinian lawmaker to meet with President Abbas to seek reconciliation. Hamas said that it was not involved in any arrangements.[328]

JUNE 2: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said that Hamas will end its armed struggle against Israel if Israel withdraws from Palestinian land occupied in 1967. Hamas continues to oppose indirect peace talks and believes that Abbas will compromise national rights.[329]

MAY 29: Hamas accused the PNA of kidnapping three Hamas members. They included Sheikh Hasan al Zaghal, a former teacher, Sheikh Mahdi Bishnaq, a former bodyguard, and Aktham Abu Ubayd.[330]

MAY 26: A Hamas official responded to a Knesset bill that called for the worsening of conditions for Hamas prisoners saying, “If the Israeli sanctions go into effect, this will have a negative impact on Shalit.  There’s no guarantee that those holding the soldier won’t retaliate.” Hamas said that it would be more useful for Israel to find a way to negotiate for Shalit’s release.[331]

MAY 25: The Hamas Interior Ministry released a statement saying that security forces had arrested a group of suspects for the burning and vandalizing of a United Nations summer camp in Gaza.[332]

MAY 15: Hamas leader Mahmoud al Zahhar said that there will be a “thawing” of ties between foreign countries and Hamas in the future. These countries include Switzerland and Norway, which will be briefed on Hamas’s positions.[333]

MAY 13: Hamas said that it moves Gilad Shalit from place to place twice a week. In addition, Hamas’s al Qassam Brigades said that they arrested several Palestinian collaborators who had attempted to reveal Shalit’s location.[334]

MAY 12: Hamas accused Egypt of killing Palestinian fisherman Mohammed al Bardawil after his boat collided with an Egyptian naval ship. Hamas has ordered an investigation into the incident.[335]

MAY 12: Hamas has alleged that Egypt is torturing Palestinian prisoners. Such methods include electrocution, beatings, and hanging by limbs. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that there are 30 members of Palestinian factions, including 11 from Hamas, being held in Egyptian prisons.[336]

MAY 10: Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said that the movement was studying new proposals to reconcile with Fatah.[337]

MAY 8: Hamas and Islamic Jihad said that the PLO’s approval of launching proximity talks with Israel is not binding to all Palestinians. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri says that the decision wastes the rights of the Palestinian people and allows Israel to continue its crimes.[338]

MAY 5: Hamas responded to President Obama’s extension of sanctions against Syria and stated that the sanctions were baseless and only harm regional stability. It added that Syria had the right to recover its occupied land and defend itself.[339]

APRIL 24: Hamas’s armed wing, the al Qassam Brigades, broadcasted a three-minute cartoon of Gilad Shalit to warn Israel about the soldier’s fate if Hamas’s demands for the release of Palestinian prisoners are not met.[340]

APRIL 19: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said that there will be more attempts to capture Israeli soldiers to use in bargaining for Palestinian prisoner releases.[341]

APRIL 17: Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinians to increase armed resistance in Gaza and the West Bank to support the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. “The resistance must be painful to [Israel] to push it to think seriously in freeing the prisoners,” he stated.[342]

MARCH 24: Hamas announced that it would begin executing those convicted of spying for Israel. Human rights organizations condemned these actions.[343]

MARCH 14: Hamas authorities denied reports that international jihad groups like al Qaeda were operating in Gaza in order to shake Hamas’s rule. Last week, a bomb exploded close to the home of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Small groups are reportedly attempting to create disorder in the enclave.[344]

MARCH 1: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said in Tehran that “the Arab world and Islamic Republic of Iran must be unified against the shared enemy that is Israel.”[345]

FEB 6: Hamas distanced itself from the written statement, “We apologize for any harm that might have come to Israeli civilians.” Hamas said that the response to the Goldstone report submitted to the United Nations was misinterpreted and “does not include any apologies.”[346]

JAN 29: Hamas stated, “We hold Israel responsible for the assassination of our brother and leader,” Mahmoud al Mabhouh, one of the founders of the group’s militant wing, who was assassinated on January 20. Mabhouh used a fake name to travel and had previously been behind plots to kidnap two Israeli soldiers in 1989. He was killed while on a trip to obtain weapons in Dubai. Hamas said that it would retaliate, and Mabhouh’s brother blamed Mossad for the act. His funeral was held in Damascus.[347]

JAN 26: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal stated that Egypt’s withdrawal from Palestinian affairs in Gaza paved the way for growing Turkish and Iranian influence. He emphasized that despite Turkish and Iranian interests, he would never allow others to use Hamas for its own purposes and that Hamas “should not blame others if their role extended, but we should blame ourselves if ours shrank.”[348]

JAN 21: The al Qassam Brigades announced the death of 50-year-old Mahmoud al Mabhouh, one of the planners of Hamas’s large operations. The funeral will be at the Jabaliya refugee camp mosque in northern Gaza.[349]

JAN 15: Senior Hamas official Izzat al Rishq said that a Hamas delegation led by Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal met separately with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. In the meetings, they discussed the Palestinian situation, Israeli aggression, threats against Jerusalem and al Aqsa Mosque, and Meshaal’s desire to reconcile Hamas and Fatah. Additionally, they discussed the need for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon to have civil rights.[350]

JAN 14: Senior Hamas official Abu Marzuq stated that Hamas does not seek to threaten any Arab state.[351]

JAN 8: Hamas said that it is willing to cooperate fully in the Lebanese investigation over last week’s bombing that killed two of its members in Lebanon.[352]

JAN 8: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said in Iran that peace talks are worthless, glorifying the path of resistance. He added that Hamas is friends with Iran, Hamas’s greatest financial supporter.[353]

JAN 4: Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that Fatah is impeding the reconciliation process and that Hamas sees a fundamental problem in Egypt‘s proposal.[354]

JAN 4: Hamas official Ali Baraka vowed to fight with Hezbollah in the next Israel-Lebanon war.[355]

JAN 4: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called on Saudi Arabia to mediate the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah and to exert more pressure on Israel to advance peace and security in the region.[356]

JAN 3: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal stated that the Palestinian factions have made significant progress towards reconciliation. Hamas and seven other Palestinian groups have rejected the reconciliation proposal because it does not state that Palestinians have the right to continue fighting against Israel. Meshaal also blamed Israel for the delay in indirect negotiations to exchange prisoners.[357]

JAN 2: Hamas leader and Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh denied Fatah’s claim that his movement refused to sign a national agreement in Egypt. He said that Hamas is ready to sign the paper in Cairo once an agreement is reached. Fatah has already signed the Egyptian reconciliation agreement.[358]

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LOCAL DEVELOPMENTS

NOV 27: Hamas began implementing a public relations campaign called "Communication and Affection.” Hamas officials and government figures will visit Palestinians door-to-door in an effort to “restore its popularity and clarify some of its policies," Hamas spokesman Taher al Nunu said.[359]

NOV 2: A spokesman for the Salafist group Jaysh al Umma announced today that the group’s Secretary General, Abu Hafez al Maqdisi, had been arrested by Hamas some time earlier. The spokesman, Abu Abd al Maqdisi, told Palestinian Ma’an News Agency that Hamas officials imprisoned Maqdisi for launching attacks on Israel.[360]

OCT 31: Several senior Hamas leaders attended a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) rally dedicated to the organization’s founder Fathi Shaqaqi. Hamas official Khalil al Haya called for friendly ties saying the two groups were "the heart of the resistance." This comment came amidst concerted efforts at reconciliation from both groups.[361]

OCT 27: A militant from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement was killed by an Israeli tank shell in northern Gaza. A spokesman for the al Quds Brigade, PIJ’s armed wing, confirmed that Jihad Afana was killed while on a “Jihadist mission.” The IDF stated that suspects launching mortar rounds from the Gaza Strip into Israel were targeted.[362]

OCT 20: An explosion at a Hamas military compound in downtown Rafah caused minor injuries to over a dozen civilians, including children, according to a Hamas official. Hamas did not report the cause of the blast, which appears accidental, and the Israeli military denied any involvement.[363]

OCT 18: Palestinian Islamic Jihad has declared that they will dismiss any member who conducts unsanctioned attacks.  “The leadership has taken a crucial decision to disown all members who go out on impromptu missions or under the banner of other organisations, such as those who refer to themselves as salafists,” said a spokesman.[364]

OCT 15: Firms based in the West Bank wishing to do business in Gaza have received notices advising them to register their businesses with Hamas, a step taken by Hamas to levy taxes to support their government services in Gaza.  The step has sparked complaints that this represents an effort by the economically isolated Hamas government to raise much needed tax revenue, while furthering the economic divide between Gaza and the West Bank since firms will be taxed by both Hamas and the PA.[365]

SEPT 23: Omar Kawari, one of the men arrested on Thursday for allegedly collaborating with the Israeli government against Hamas, was sentenced to death by firing squad.[366]

SEPT 21: Tulkarem MP Abdurrahman Zeidan was arrested by PNA security militia.  Palestinian Legislative Council secretary Dr. Mahmoud al Ramahi said a large force of Fatah troops broke down the door to his home before arresting Zeidan and confiscating his computer and cell phone.  The PNA said this was a message to Hamas after Zeidan accused the PNA of conspiring to kill Iyad Shilbaya.  Zeidan was released after an hour.[367]

SEPT 19: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal met with Egyptian intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman in Saudi Arabia to discuss Palestinian reconciliation.  Hamas has so far rejected the pact with Fatah proposed by Egypt.[368]

SEPT 18: Senior Hamas security official Mohammed Dababish, also known as Abu Radwan, was arrested by Egyptian security officials at Cairo International Airport on his return to Gaza.  Dababish is an official in charge of public security within Hamas and is a member of the Supreme Security Council of the Palestinian government.[369]

SEPT 15: Hamas reportedly closed a restaurant that permitted women to smoke in public.  The Hamas government banned smoking in July 2010.[370]

SEPT 14: The Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center announced that Hamas considers its summer camps, attended by approximately 100,000 youths, as a tool to spread its ideology.  The center said in a report that the camps include anti-Israel indoctrination, paramilitary training, and participation in military parades.  Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said that the camps “raise a true generation of children fighting for the sake of their nation’s interest” who “continue to remember their goals including Jerusalem and the prisoners.”  Palestinian Islamic Jihad separately runs 51 camps attended by 10,000 children. [371]

SEPT 3: Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized events for World Jerusalem Day. The participants held up banners condemning the peace talks that began on September 2. Hamas official Ismail al Ashqar asserted to protesters that “Jerusalem is being attack by Israel” and he praised Iranian support.[372]

AUG 30: The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion polled 1,000 Palestinians from the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza earlier in the month finding that 31.7 percent favor resuming direct talks and 31.1 percent favor indirect talks with Israel. 79.4 percent believe that U.S. envoy George Mitchell’s visit will not result in progress towards peace and two-thirds do not believe President Obama is capable of establishing a Palestinian state. Over half support a two-state solution, 26.7 percent support one bi-national state, and 4.9 percent say that there is no solution. 54.4 percent of those polled said the Palestinian Authority governs better than Hamas. 43.5 percent say that the economy is their primary concern and almost 70 percent worry about their family’s subsistence.[373]

AUG 25: Islamic Jihad claimed that Gaza security forces broke into its offices in Khan Younis and detained four affiliates.[374]

AUG 25: Following an August 21 announcement that Gaza security forces would begin confiscating unlicensed weapons, Gaza intelligence forces confiscated ammunition and weapons from the home of a Palestinian Authority officer in Jabaliya.[375]

AUG 20: Hamas police attempted to evict forty homeless families that took over a building this week belonging to Gaza’s Hamas rulers. The families have lived in tents since their homes were destroyed in conflict with Israel over a year ago. A banner pasted on the building reads, “The heat and cold hurt our children. Where are you?”[376]

AUG 19: The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed that an Israeli force operating in Gaza near the Karni crossing launched six mortal shells toward it. An IDF spokeswoman said troops identified “a group making suspicious movements” in an off-limits “combat zone” and opened fire.[377]

AUG 18: The French NGO Help Doctors accused Hamas of seizing equipment and files from a clinic in Khan Younis that closed on Hamas’s orders on June 16.  Help Doctors said, “Four men from the interior ministry entered the clinic on Tuesday morning and seized computer equipment, telephones, chairs, office equipment and medical files.”[378]

AUG 17: The Popular Resistance Committee’s military wing, the al Nasser Salah al Din Brigades, claimed responsibility for launching five mortar bombs that exploded in western Negev, wounding two Israeli soldiers. Israeli tanks responded to the mortars, shelling a house near Khan Younis in southeastern Gaza.[379]

AUG 13: Sources in the al Quds Brigades of Islamic Jihad said that relations with the al Qassam Brigades of Hamas had worsened after an al Qassam Brigades member fired on an al Quds member for attempting to detain him. The al Quds member and members of al Qassam had gotten into a verbal altercation at 11:15 pm August 12, resulting in the al Quds member opening firing and wounding the two al Qassam members. Leaders of al Quds maintain that the incident is “only a fleeting problem.”[380]

AUG 11: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine released a statement condemning the Hamas militia crackdown on a demonstration organized by PFLP.  “We condemn the Hamas police crackdown on the protest rally organized by us, which led to the wounding of many of our leaders and members.”[381]AUG 8: Islamic Jihad spokesman Dawud Shihab stated that the movement’s positive “position toward the issue of launching rockets on Israelis has not changed,” despite reports that its leadership ordered the suspension of rocket attacks on Israel.[382]

AUG 5: Tawhid wa al Jihad Group released a 58-minute, 24-second video “Blood Under the Flag of Tawhid” condemning Hamas for its September 16, 2008 raid on Army of Islam fighters and Dughmush family members in Sabra, Gaza and the August 14, 2009 raid on the Ibn Taymiyya Mosque in Rafah, Gaza. The group also condemned Hamas’s repudiation of shari’a law and Fatah’s cooperation with Israel.[383]

AUG 1: A blast at the home of senior Hamas Military Commander Alaa al Danaf in Gaza injured his brother Abed and approximately 20 others. The Israeli military denies responsibility. The head of the emergency unit at Gaza’s health ministry Muawiya Hassanein said 30 people arrived at a hospital for treatment.[384]

AUG 1: The Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization will increase the number of aid convoys to Gaza and the West Bank during Ramadan to more than one per month. The aid will include food, medicine, blankets, and other basics. Since 2008, the JHCO has sent 87 convoys with over 16,740 tons of aid equaling more than $33 million.[385]

AUG 1: Al Tawhid wa al Jihad wing associated with the Salafi movement in Gaza claimed responsibility for launching a projectile into the western Negev at 9:42 P.M. The projectile hit a building used as a daycare center for disabled persons and caused damage to the roof and second floor. The Israeli Air Force responded with a series of airstrikes in southern Gaza that injured a Palestinian.[386]

AUG 1: Islamic Jihad said that it had decided to resume the use of suicide attacks against Israel from the West Bank. Spokesman for Islamic Jihad Abu Ahmed acknowledged that “It’s very difficult to do these things because of the policy of security coordinations and the arrest of [would be] suicide bombers” and requires training and equipment.[387]

JULY 28: Hamas announced regulations forbidding women’s clothing stores from having dressing rooms or tinted windows and requiring modestly-dressed mannequins. Photographic devices and displays with revealing clothing are banned to protect “public morality.”[388]

JULY 20: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine denied July 19 reports by the Hamas-affiliated Paldf website that tension between the PFLP and the Palestinian Authority erupted due to the postponement of local elections. According to “informed sources,” the PFLP condemned and insulted Mahmoud Abbas at a sit-in held in protest. The PFLP stated, however, that “Our relations with the governor are very good.”[389]

JULY 19: 535 tons of food entered Gaza through the Karam Abu Salim crossing, coordinated by the Egyptian Red Crescent Society, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, and UNRWA.[390]

JULY 17: Hamas forbade women and teenagers from smoking shisha (water-pipes) in public places such as restaurants, cafes, and hotels.[391]

JULY 7: Hamas barred the entry of three Palestinian newspapers printed in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Hamas has previously accused the newspapers of promoting the PNA and Fatah.[392]

JULY 7: Hamas launched a campaign to arrest suspected collaborators with Israel and has detained five in overnight raids. The raids began after a two-month amnesty expired, and a Hamas official said that the movement will not show mercy to any collaborators.[393]

JULY 4: A Fatah official said that a group of gunmen attacked a Fatah-associated legislator in Gaza. The gunmen stopped Abdul Hamid al Aila near the Gaza refugee camp al Buraij and tried to kidnap him. Faissal Abu Shahla, a Fatah member of parliament, demanded that Hamas launch an investigation; however, Fatah did not blame any specific party for the attack.[394]

JULY 3: Hamas’s security forces arrested dozens of Fatah activists. A Fatah statement said that the activists are being treated “as if they were criminals.”[395]

JUNE 28: Unknown gunmen attacked and vandalized a United Nations summer camp. No one has claimed responsibility for the second case of vandalism.[396]JUNE 16: The Palestinian People’s Party threatened to target Hamas leaders in the West Bank if Hamas harms senior PPP leader Walid al Awad. Hamas security services stormed al Awad’s house in Gaza and reportedly assaulted members of his family during the raid.[397]

JUNE 15: A poll among 1,270 adult Palestinians in 127 locations throughout West bank and the Gaza Strip from June 10 to 13 showed that the flotilla raid did not boost Hamas’s popularity. If the elections were held on June 15, 45 percent of Palestinians would vote for Fatah while only 26 percent would vote for Hamas – the same results as in March. 43 percent of Palestinians view Turkey as the most supportive country to their cause and 13 percent believe Egypt is most supportive. 60 percent believe the flotilla raid will weaken or end the Israeli blockade while 18 percent believe it will strengthen the blockade.[398]

JUNE 14: Hamas announced that it launched 600 of its own summer camps to entertain refugees’ schoolchildren in Gaza. Hundreds of pro-Hamas children gathered in front of the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza City.[399]

JUNE 14: Hamas security forces prevented Palestinians from holding a demonstration against the Israeli buffer zone. Policemen seized keys of vehicles that were going to be used to transport the Palestinians to demonstrate near the zone.[400]

MAY 28: Hamas prepared for the arrival of the aid flotilla, and the Ministry of Transportation invited residents to bid for work. The Hamas police prepared for emergency scenarios, and Hamas officials distributed 500 invitations to individuals to be in the port for the arrival of the flotilla.[401]

MAY 23: 30 armed assailants burned and vandalized a UN summer camp and set fire to 30 large plastic water tanks and other facilities. Three bullets were found next to a written death threat against UN officials. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, and head of Gaza’s largest UN aid agency John Ging said all 143 UN camps would open on June 12.[402]

MAY 18: Hamas executed three Palestinians accused of murdering two money-changers and a 16-year-old girl. These were Hamas’s first executions of criminal murderers.[403]

MAY 16: Hamas destroyed between 30 and 40 homes in Rafah and forced residents out. The movement said that the homes were built on government land illegally without approval from the Lands Authority or a license from the municipality.[404]

MAY 12: Hamas’s Ministry of Interior announced that its police defused a bomb in the Egyptian embassy in Gaza City. Officials do not know who is responsible.[405]

MAY 2: Hamas is unable to pay its civil servants their full salaries for the second consecutive month. Deputy Finance Minister Ismail Mahfouz assures that the financial problems are temporary and blamed the Israeli blockade. Mahfouz stated that the 32,000 civil servants and members of the security forces will get a minimum payment of $400, but those who normally make more will only receive partial payments.[406]

APRIL 28: Jamil Mezhar, an official from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, accused Hamas of arresting 12 of the group’s supporters. Hamas already released some of them. Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said that the PFLP was misusing its freedom and had made inflammatory statements.[407]

APRIL 25: Rival resistance groups and former supporters of Hamas say the movement has become too political, secular, and “soft.” Spokesman for Islamic Jihad Abu Ahmed said that the people are saying that Hamas has changed and that it is fighting its own people instead of fighting Israel.[408]

APRIL 14: Hamas temporarily shut down smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt in response to an Israeli warning of a plot to kidnap Israelis in the Sinai. According to a senior Hamas official, the tunnels were shut at the request of Egypt and due to fears that Israel would bomb them. Hamas mayor of Rafah, Issa Nashar, stated that 30 percent of the more than 400 tunnels were already idle before the closure. Later in the afternoon, the tunnels were reopened.[409]

APRIL 13: Hamas executed Mohammed Ismail and Nasser Abu Freh, two Palestinians convicted of collaborating with Israel, by firing squad.[410]

APRIL 11: Hamas released four members of al Quds Brigades after a four-hour detainment. They were forced to sign an oath not to undertake any jihad actions against Israel. The number of rockets Gaza has fired since the end of the Gaza war has decreased by 90 percent.[411]

APRIL 3: Hamas leaders met with various Palestinian factions, including Islamic Jihad, to discuss reducing tension along the border. They agreed on certain tactics to avoid Israeli retaliation and reiterated the need for Palestinian reconciliation.[412]

APRIL 2: Hamas has contacted armed groups in the Gaza Strip to prevent them from attacks that might provoke Israeli retaliation. Hamas said that attacks do not serve Palestinian interests right now and has not claimed any responsibility for rocket attacks, only gunfire.[413]

MARCH 3: Salafi jihadist groups increased their attacks against Hamas after the arrest of Mahmoud Talib, one of the leaders of Jund Ansaralah Group (Jaljalat), who had escaped from prison. Sources said that the groups exploded three bombs near Hamas leader Haniyeh’s house last week in al Shati Refugee Camp in western Gaza. Reportedly, the bombings were meant to send a message telling Haniyeh to stop arresting Salafists.[414]

FEB 16: British journalist Paul Martin was arrested by Hamas in Gaza and detained for 15 days on charges of unspecified security offenses. He had come to testify for Mohammed Abu Muaileq who is on trial for collaborating with Israel.[415]

JAN 23: The Salafi group Ansar al Sunna in Jerusalem denounced Hamas media campaigns against them, saying that Hamas was preparing for war against it and was hunting down members of the group and storming houses.[416]

JAN 20: Hamas Minister of Social Affairs Ahmed al Kurd said that the government will provide $100,000 for physical and moral aid to 100 families hurt by the floods in Wadi Ghazzah. Al Kurd indicated that there is a 60 percent unemployment rate and 80 percent of the population in Gaza lives under the poverty line.[417]

JAN 19: Leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad met in Gaza City to discuss developments in the reconciliation agreement. Arab nations are encouraging the dialogue and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Muhammad al Sabah said that there would be a reconciliation meeting within the next ten days between President Abbas and Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.[418]

JAN 3: The Hamas Islamic veil project, with cooperation from the Association of Young Muslim Women, provides hijabs and robes for free to girls and women. Hamas seeks to implement Islamic law in Gaza mainly in schools, institutions, and courts.[419]

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