Hamas intends to apply Islamic law, or shari'a, as the basis for running the Palestinian Authority after its landslide win in the late January elections for the legislature, officials from the group said. But they added that people would not be forced to comply with shari‘a.
Hamas was formed in 1987 as an Islamist movement in opposition to Israel. It was linked to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. In spite of its resistance rhetoric, the organization received early covert backing and financial support from Israel.