Columbia University Press presents information on Hamas, as part of the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. Hamas stands for the Islamic Resistance Movement, a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization that has a military wing that has carried out terrorist attacks on Israelis. Hamas opposed the accord between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Shiek Ahmed Yassin is the founder of Hamas, and he was imprisoned by the Israelis in 1989. He was released in 1997.
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