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.
When the United States vetoed a proposed UN Security Council resolution criticizing Israel’s March 22 assassination of Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin, it was the 24th time since 1983 that the U.S. has blocked a resolution critical of Israel. By this latest veto, the U.S.