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Hamas's Tactics


October 7th




In a Nutshell

Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States and the European Union, primarily due to its tactics in the conflict with Israel.

These tactics include suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians, indiscriminate rocket attacks, kidnappings and executions of Israeli soldiers and civilians, use of civilian areas in Gaza as shields for military operations, and tunnel warfare for smuggling and attacks.

Additionally, Hamas has engaged in cyber warfare and espionage against Israeli targets. This designation is based on the view that these tactics violate international laws and norms, particularly regarding the protection of civilians, and has significant implications for Hamas's international relations, financial transactions, and global perception, influencing the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and international diplomatic efforts.

Full Story

The Full Story

Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States and the European Union. This designation is primarily due to the tactics employed by Hamas in its conflict with Israel.

  1. Suicide Bombings: One of the most notorious tactics used by Hamas has been suicide bombings. These attacks, often targeting Israeli civilian areas such as buses, cafes, and markets, have resulted in numerous casualties and have been a hallmark of Hamas's violent resistance strategy.

  2. Rocket Attacks: Hamas has frequently used rocket fire into Israeli territory. These rockets, varying in range and payload, have been launched from the Gaza Strip into various parts of Israel, causing civilian casualties and property damage. The indiscriminate nature of these rocket attacks, often aimed at civilian-populated areas, is a significant factor in the terrorist designation.

  3. Kidnappings and Executions: Hamas has been involved in the kidnapping and sometimes execution of Israeli soldiers and civilians. These acts are used as leverage in negotiations or to fulfill specific militant objectives.

  4. Use of Civilian Shields: Hamas has been accused of using civilian areas and populations in Gaza as shields for its military operations. The placement of rocket launchers and other military assets in densely populated areas has been a point of international concern, as it leads to civilian casualties during retaliatory strikes by Israel.  During the 2023 Israel-Hamas war, there were reports and accusations that Hamas had strategically placed portions of its military tunnel system and command network beneath civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, mosques, and residential buildings. This included the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, which have become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders.

  5. Tunnel Warfare: Hamas has developed an extensive network of tunnels in the Gaza Strip. These tunnels are used for smuggling weapons, launching attacks, and infiltrating Israeli territory. The use of these tunnels for militant purposes contributes to its terrorist designation.

  6. Cyber Attacks and Espionage: In recent years, Hamas has expanded its tactics to include cyber warfare, targeting Israeli digital infrastructure and conducting espionage operations.

The designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization is based on these tactics, which are seen as violating international laws and norms regarding armed conflict, particularly those related to the protection of civilians. The terrorist designation has significant implications for Hamas, affecting its international relations, financial transactions, and overall global perception. It also impacts the broader dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, influencing international diplomatic and peace efforts.



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