Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad


Primary purpose and goal of the organization

As the central focus of the larger program of Islamization, Hamas seeks to establish a Palestinian Islamist state comprising Gaza, Judea, Samaria, and the area of Israel—”from the river to the sea”, destroying Israel as a political entity. In addition, its 1988 Charter (Art. 7) calls for the death of Jews.

This document, which attempts to project a moderated image, nevertheless did not replace or supersede the 1988 Charter.  Hamas’s goals remained unchanged.  In one example, with respect to Israel, Paragraph 18 states: “The following are considered null and void: the Balfour Declaration, the British Mandate Document, the UN Palestine Partition Resolution, and whatever resolutions and measures that derive from them or are similar to them. The establishment of “Israel” is entirely illegal and contravenes the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and goes against their will and the will of the Ummah; it is also in violation of human rights that are guaranteed by international conventions, foremost among them is the right to self-determination.”

  • Background and description of the organization

Formal designations of Hamas as a terrorist organization

    • Australia – First listed in its entirety on 18 Mar 2022.  Previously its military wing – Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades – was proscribed on 9 Nov 2003.
    • Canada – First listed on 27 Nov 2002.
    • Egypt – Banned Hamas on 4 Mar 2014. Egypt’s Urgent Matters Court designated Hamas’s armed wing a terrorist organization in January 2015, and Hamas as a terrorist group in February 2015. An appeals court canceled the designation in June 2015.
    • European Union –  First listed on 27 Dec 2001.  The European Court of Justice, in a decision issued 23 Nov 2021, reversed a lower court ruling of 4 Sep 2019, which had annulled the continued listing of Hamas, based on a technicality.  The appellate court allowed reinstatement of the listing.
    • Israel – First listed on 15 Sep 1989. Designated the Gaza-based, Hamas-controlled Al-Aqsa TV station as a terrorist entity on 6 Mar 2019.
    • Japan – Listed in 2005.
    • Jordan – Banned in 1999.
    • New Zealand has designated only the military wing of Hamas – Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. First listed on 11 Oct 2010.
    • Organization of American States – 17 May 2021.
    • Paraguay – On 9 Aug 2019, President Abdo Benitez signed Decree No. 2307/2019, designating Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qa’ida, and ISIS as terrorist organizations. 
    • United Kingdom – First listed in its entirety on 26 Nov 2021.  Previously, its military wing – Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades – was proscribed in March 2001.
    • United States – Hamas was designated by the Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224 in 2001. It was also listed as a Specially Designated Terrorist Entity in 1995 in the Annex to Executive Order 12947, which targets terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process.
      • On 24 May 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated a Hamas finance official as well as an expansive network of three Hamas financial facilitators and six companies that have generated revenue for the terrorist group through the management of an international investment portfolio. (Press Release)

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

Primary purpose and goal of the organization

PIJ is a Sunni Islamist organization committed, like Hamas, to the violent destruction of the State of Israel.  

Coordination with Hamas  

Background and Description of the organization

Formal designations of the PIJ as a terrorist organization

Additional Resources