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Myth:

Israel created Hamas

Source:

IDSF

Fact:

The claim that Israel/Netanyahu created Hamas initially started in Israeli left-wing circles as a criticism towards Netanyahu for funneling money to Hamas rather than strengthening the PA. Netanyahu’s strategy was to separate Gaza and the PA which would prevent a roadmap to create a Palestinian State under the PA which would include both Judea and Samaria and Gaza. The criticism in itself was sound also echoed other critics from the right regarding Netanyahu’s policy of allowing Qatari cash to enter Gaza to appease Hamas since 2018.

 

The conspiracy theory starts when a quote, that Netanyahu said in 2019 in which he referred to his policy of bolstering Hamas was an antidote to establishment of a Palestinian State, went viral. Israel haters used the quote to deflect criticism from Hamas and point it against Israel as the original progenitor of Hamas.

The conspiracy that Israel built Hamas relies on some true historical events that are altered, twisted and taken out of context to create the impression that somehow Israel had an interest in creating Hamas so it would have an organization to blame in order to carry out its policy.

 

What actually happened

In the 1970’s Ahmad Yassin, the founder of Hamas, was a religious cleric in Gaza who wanted to build schools and community centers as part of an Islamic charity organization. The Islamic charity Mujama al-Islamiya started to offer clinics, blood banks, day care, medical treatment, meals and youth clubs, playing an important role for providing social care, particularly those living in refugee camps.

This happened before Hamas was established as an armed terrorist guerilla force. Yassin, who hid his true intentions was believed by the Israeli authorities to be a force that would counter the PLO influence in Gaza and approved the legal status of the the Islamic charity Mujama al-Islamiya in 1979 as they believed it could also have a role in the civil needs of the population. Israeli authorities made mistakes and were blind to the transformation of the charity organization to a terrorist organization using its status as a registered charity. There was debate in Israeli security circle whether or not to turn a blind eye to the Islamic education the Mujama was giving. At the time there was no evidence of terrorist activities that would justify banning the charity organization or its intentions to become one in the future. Israel didn’t fight the Islamists at that early stage, it was due to negligence, not an attempt to strengthen them.

 

To conclude, Israel made mistakes in not confronting the proto Hamas organization but this was due to negligence and not an attempt to create a terrorist organization dedicated to destroy its very existence.


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