Hamas: Refuge in Mosques

With funds provided by Saudi Arabia,[8] the Brotherhood has created centers for the propagation of its doctrine by providing for the communal needs of Palestinian Muslims in Gaza. Adhering to the doctrine of providing for the social needs of fellow Muslims, over the past 65 years the Muslim Brotherhood created a network of social, charitable and educational institutions linked to the local mosques, which came to be known as al-Mujamma’ al-Islami, or the Islamic Congress.[9] As the leader of the Islamic Congress, Sheik Ahmad Yasin oversaw its transformation into HAMAS.

The establishment of HAMAS by Sheik Yassin altered the structure of the organization and paved the way for HAMAS to become an effective competitor with the PLO. Presently HAMAS consists of two wings: an underground terrorist organization that uses the name “Izz al-Din al-Qassam Battalions” and its older support structure that continues to revolve around the mosques, charitable organizations and schools.

In an effort to curb a wave of terrorist attacks against Israelis that took place in late 1992, the Rabin government deported 413 Islamic extremists. Three hundred of them comprised the command structure of HAMAS in the West Bank and Gaza. The remainder consisted of members of the organization’s support structure within the mosques, as well as members of the Islamic Jihad.[10] Those who were responsible for HAMAS’ support structure filled the roles of propagandists, spokesmen, treasurers and suppliers of refuge for the organization’s covert activists.”

In effect, the violent activists of HAMAS took advantage of the mosques’ status as inviolate houses of worship to plan their unholy acts of terror.