Since its creation in 1987, Hamas has been at the forefront of armed resistance in the occupied Palestinian territories. While the movement itself claims an unbroken militancy in Palestine dating back to 1935, others credit post-1967 maneuvers of Israeli Intelligence for its establishment. This article, in assessing these opposing narratives and offering its own interpretation, delves into the historical foundations of Hamas starting with the establishment in 1946 of the Gaza branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (the mother organization) and ending with its emergence as a distinct entity at the outbreak of the first intifada. Particular emphasis is given to the Brotherhood's pre-1987 record of militancy in the Strip, and on the complicated and intertwining relationship between the Brotherhood and Fatah.
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