Israel-Hamas War FAQs Fact Sheet

What is Hamas? 

  • Hamas, a designated terrorist organization by the US, EU, and other states, was founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement dedicated to promoting Islamist extremism worldwide. Their goals are outlined in their founding charter, which combines antisemitic conspiracy theories and explicitly calls for the death of all Jews worldwide.  
  • They are responsible for decades of violent terror attacks against Israeli civilians – including suicide bombings, stabbings, and shootings. They have governed Gaza since 2007, after they were elected and then violently ousted the Palestinian Authority. 
  • Hamas gets funding and support from Iran - which regularly threatens Israel with annihilation. US President Joe Biden purports that a goal of Hamas and their Iranian sponsors is to prevent Israel from making peace with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. 

Aren’t Jewish Israelis colonizers, and isn’t violence against them justified in the name of decolonization? 

  • No. Calling Jews living in their own homeland “colonizers” is part of an effort to dehumanize them, strip away their rights, and justify violence and the horrific October 7 massacre by Hamas. 
  • Israel is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people. Any other narrative erases 3,000 years of their history and identity. Historical and archeological records show that Jews developed a unique civilization in this region over 3,000 years ago, and have maintained deep ties to it since.  
  • It is possible for more than one group to have indigenous claims to the same land. 
  • There is nothing that could possibly justify the October 7 massacre by Hamas – neither the existence of Israel nor any Israeli policy or action can justify intentionally murdering whole families, taking toddlers and the elderly hostage, rape, or massacring hundreds of people at a music festival.  

Doesn’t Israel control Gaza? 

  • No. Israel does not control Gaza. Israel withdrew every Israeli soldier and civilian from Gaza in 2005 in the hope of peace. This was a unilateral withdrawal, meaning Israel took this step without first signing a peace agreement with the Palestinians.  
  • Claiming that Israel controls Gaza shields the Hamas government from any accountability for the wellbeing of the people under its rule. 
  • In 2007 Hamas violently took complete control of Gaza after being elected to the majority. Since then, repeated missile attacks from Gaza into Israel and pervasive weapons smuggling from Egypt into Gaza, has led both Israel and Egypt to imposed a blockade to prevent weapons from entering Gaza. Despite ongoing threats from Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza, Israel and the international community have delivered thousands of tons of food, water, medicine, aid, and other materials to the territory every week for years before the Hamas massacre on October 7th.  
  • The majority of Jewish Americans support a two-state solution, with an independent Palestinian state next to Israel, where both Palestinians and Jews can live in peace side-by-side.   

Israel has killed civilians in Gaza, so how are they different from Hamas? 

  • Every death – Palestinian or Israeli - is a tragedy. There is no question that Palestinians have suffered immensely from violence between Hamas and Israel. However, there is a huge moral difference between the two sides of this conflict.  
  •  Hamas invaded Israel and massacred innocent people, deliberately targeting civilians, using rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war, torturing individuals and dismembering bodies. 
  • Hamas and its terrorist allies put Palestinian lives at risk by militarizing Palestinian cities and neighborhoods. Terrorists fire rockets into Israel from crowded civilian areas in embedded military infrastructure in mosques, schools, and hospitals. They place the people of Gaza directly in harm's way, committing war crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians. In some cases, terrorist rockets fired from Gaza misfire and kill Palestinian civilians.  
  • In contrast, many legal and military experts have documented not only that Israel does not intentionally target civilians, but also that Israel surpasses legal requirements by warning civilians before striking its targets.  
  • Hamas urges people to ignore these Israeli warnings, and prevent them from reaching safe corridors, committing war crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians. 
  • The only way to prevent these tragedies is for Hamas and other terrorist groups to put down their weapons, stop attacking Israeli civilians, and negotiate peace. 

There is nowhere for the Gazans to go to evacuate, they are being pushed into the sea. 

  • The ongoing war in Gaza is a horrible and complicated situation. Israel has air-dropped and texted detailed maps in Arabic (English translation) that indicate “safety zones” and evacuation routes. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has been closely monitoring population movements in the 623 areas of the map by using cell phone signals, media footage, social media posts, reports from humanitarian organizations, and other means.  
  • Further complicating things, Hamas is launching rockets from within humanitarian zones. The Israeli military posted maps, satellite photos, and video showing 14 rockets first towards Israel from multiple locations, including the Al-Mawasi humanitarian zone where civilians have been instructed to seek refuge. The New York Times has verified that the area from which Hamas is launching rockets in Al-Mawasi has previously been used as a Hamas training base and was used to practice paragliding before October 7.  

Israel could end this by releasing Palestinian “political prisoners.” 

  • This conflict will not be resolved by releasing prisoners. Hamas is most interested in the destruction of Israel and murdering as many Jews as possible. 
  • Hamas could end the war immediately by releasing the hostages and surrendering, which is what Mansour Abbas has urged them to do. Mansour Abbas is the head of the leading Arab political party in Israel. 

Accusations of “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” 

  • Both Israelis and Palestinians have suffered immensely from the current Hamas-Israel War and the broader conflict. However, accusations towards Israel of “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” are dehumanizing and false and only fuels more hatred and conflict. 
  • The word “genocide” was coined in 1944 to describe the Nazis’ systematic, intentional murder of Jews during the Holocaust - an industrial scale mass murder of 6 million Jews. Both the Israeli (including Jews and non-Jews) and Palestinian populations have grown by millions since 1948.  
  • The current war began with Hamas brutally massacring Israeli civilians. Hamas is a terrorist group driven by genocidal racism, and its leaders have repeatedly expressed their support for genocide and ethnic cleansing against Jews. However, Israel has been able to prevent Hamas from succeeding in these horrific goals. 
  • This war is horrific for civilians, Israel has repeatedly stated that it is fighting against Hamas and not intentionally targeting innocent people in Gaza. This war and previous conflicts are not genocide or ethnic cleansing. There is no comparison between Israeli strikes against terrorists and an effort to eradicate an entire ethnic group through genocide.

Hamas could end this conflict by returning the remaining 140 hostages taken in October 7, stopping all violence against Israeli civilians, accepting Israel's existence, and negotiating peace. If the group truly wanted a better future for Palestinians, that's what it would do with its power. Unfortunately, Israel can't make Hamas choose life over endless war, destruction, and death. This much is clear: a one-sided approach that blames Israel, tries to strip away its legitimacy as a state, and shields Hamas from accountability only fuels more suffering and conflict.

Hamas is a terrorist organization driven by genocidal racism against Jews. Their goal is to destroy Israel. Don’t believe us? Take their word for it:

“Over is the time Hamas spent discussing recognizing Israel. Now we will discuss when we will wipe out Israel” 
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar 
“We must attack every Jew on planet Earth! We must slaughter and kill them” 
Fathi Hammad, Senior Hamas official 
“Jews are the vilest and most despicable nation in history.” 
Marwan Abu Ras, Hamas official 

“When we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public.” 
Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al Zahar 
“We will take down the border and tear out their hearts from their bodies.” 
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar 
“Israel will come to an end just as it began... The day will come when people will ask ‘where did Israel go?’” 
Mousa Abu Marzouk, Senior Hamas leader 
“For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry... This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. 
- Fathi Hammad, Senior Hamas Official 
“The Israelis are known to love life. We on the other hand, sacrifice ourselves. We consider our dead to be martyrs.” 
- Ali Baraka, Senior Hamas Official 
“Hamas has just one ‘no’ – no to the existence of Israel.” 
- Osama Hamdan, Senior Hamas Official 
"The October 7th massacre, “is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth, because we have the determination, the resolve, and the capabilities to fight... The existence of Israel is illogical.” 
- Ghazi Hamad, Hamas official 
“October 7th paved a wide highway towards the removal of Israel” 
- Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal 
These quotes can be shared with anyone who thinks Hamas is massacring Israeli civilians to “resist” any specific Israeli policy or action. 

—Hamas in their own words