by Saud Abu Ramadan
GAZA, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Nobody has ever expected that Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, which was founded 22 years ago, would promote from being a radical Islamic movement, listed among the world's organizations of terrorism, to become a worldwide popular movement.
Hamas, which is an extension of the worldwide Brotherhood Moslem movement, was launched at Gaza mosques by several dozens of people in the Gaza Strip, then it established its armed wing, better known as al-Qassam Brigade at the beginning of the Palestinian Uprising, or Intifada in 1987.
On Monday, tens of thousands of Hamas supporters in the Gaza Strip, that has been ruled by the movement since June 2007, would join a popular rally to mark 22 years for establishing the movement, which was founded in Gaza by late spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yass in on Dec. 14, 1987.
"Hamas has become a regional and a worldwide movement within a short period of time," said Abdel Rahman al-Jamal, a Hamas lawmaker, during a preparatory rally held in Central Gaza Strip on Friday, where demonstrators burnt two coffins wrapped with Israeli and U.S. flags.
OPPOSITION AND RESISTANCE
Several months before the movement was officially founded, its founders and leaders depended on the principles of "al-Da'wa" or religious mission by publishing and spreading the principles of Islam among the population to build up a popular base of support for the movement.
When the movement was founded right after the Palestinian Intifada, or Uprising, erupted against Israel in the West Bank and Gaza, it said that its mission is to resist the Israeli military occupation by all means of arms, and also to challenge any peaceful settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.
"Although Hamas has become so popular and became an important part of the Palestinian political arena, the movement would keep considering (Jihad) holy war and armed resistance as its strategic choice to liberate the occupied land of Palestine," said Khalil al-Hayah, a senior leading Hamas figure.
Hamas which opposed joining the world's sponsored peace process and violently opposed Oslo peace accords signed with Israel in 1993, refused to join the first ever legislative elections held in the Palestinian territories in 1996. It armed wing had violently attempted to thwart Oslo peace accords.