"When Hamas was created, with the aided influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization was not at first much of an armed group, that came five years later in the form of the Izz Ad-Deen Al-Qassam Brigades (Armed wing of Hamas).
Hamas however was far more radical than the Mujamma, had a Palestinian nationalist flavor to its Islamic ideology and attempted to follow in the footsteps of the likes of the Islamic revolution in Iran.
A famous speech, delivered by former US representative for Texas, Ron Paul, is often used as reference point for claiming that Hamas was an invention of Israel and hence prompting the idea that Hamas must be controlled by them still.
Ron Paul stated that, “if you look at the history, Hamas was encouraged and really started by Israel, because they wanted Hamas to counteract Yasser Arafat”.
This speech seems to be the reference point for many today, when it comes to their allegations of Israelis controlling and starting Hamas.
Although what Dr. Paul said, was very close to the truth, it was extremely broad and is often misinterpreted into something entirely false.
For some time, Israel still allowed for Hamas to operate, taking a hands off approach as it did with the Mujamma. It is completely true that Israel was utilizing Hamas as a counterweight to the Fatah movement, although there is no proof of any further cooperation with Hamas than this.
In 1984, the founder of Hamas, Sheikh Yassin, had already been imprisoned – until his release a year later as the result of a prisoner swap – for weapons smuggling. Israel was not the same partner that it had been to the Mujamma and was a lot more aware of its [Hamas] ambitions to reclaim Palestine." AMN
I was the head of liaison between DoD (DIA) and IDF General Staff intelligence for nine years (1985-1994). As such I was the "minder" for the IDF reps in Washington based in their embassy. The CIA tried continuously to acquire this task but without success. They were not content to nurture their long standing relationship with Mossad, the Israeli civilian intelligence service. In Israel, IDF intelligence is the senior service and the national estimator.
The brigadiers who seriatim were the chief military attache in the embassy spent a lot of time in my office consulting, being given guidance as to their sometimes arrogant and unacceptable behavior with regard to the DC police, and just chatting. There were a lot of lunches and dinners with wives. It was a very friendly set of relationships. I used to take them to WBS battlefields both for the educational benefit for them concerning the US and to have a day in which to study them as individuals.
One day, sitting in my Pentagon office, the head man from the embassy began to tell me of his concern with regard to what was happening in the 2nd Intifada, then ongoing. He told me that Israel had sponsored the growth of Hamas as a rival to the PLO, then in exile in Tunisia, believing that a religiously based resistance movement would attract many Palestinians, splitting them off from the PLO and generally weakening the Palestinian resistance. Instead, the al-Qassem Brigades of Hamas were proving to be daunting opponents in the rebellion. "Sometimes we outsmart ourselves," he said with a sad smile. He was a very skilled man. He was one of a small number of IDF officers trained as an Arab affairs specialist from secondary school onward. At one point he was Military Governor of the occupied West Bank. I believe him. pl