Hamas is an Islamist, Iranian-backed terrorist organization that seeks the destruction of Israel.
During the summer of 2014, the group fired more than 4,500 rockets at the Jewish state with the purpose of killing, maiming and terrorizing Israeli civilians. Several Israeli soldiers were ambushed and killed by Hamas fighters who emerged from “terror” tunnels. In total, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) discovered and destroyed 32 tunnels during the fighting.
Hamas is rebuilding.
Today, Hamas is rebuilding its military infrastructure: Six million Israelis are now within range of an estimated 10,000 Hamas rockets. Hamas also claims to have employed 1,000 diggers who have completed 50 new tunnels.
U.S. aid is vital.
While the IDF has spent considerable effort to address the threat of the “terror” tunnels and protect its citizens, technological barriers to success remain—U.S. security assistance to Israel is vital in helping Israel confront this key challenge.
In 2016, Congress appropriated $40 million to support joint research, development and test activities between the United States and Israel to better detect and destroy these tunnels and to help both nations defend against future threats. The program also promotes cooperation and cost-sharing between Washington and Jerusalem in this area.
Mounting Threats to Israel
Hamas—a designated terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union—poses an immediate, ongoing threat to Israel and its citizens. Download the PDF »
Hamas is a terrorist group dedicated to Israel's destruction.
Designated by the United States as a terrorist group in 1995, Hamas has killed more than 500 civilians—including two-dozen Americans—in suicide bombings and other attacks.
Prevent Hamas from rebuilding its terrorist infrastructure.
Before the reconstruction of Gaza can begin, the United States and other world powers must ensure that a mechanism is in place to prevent Hamas from using building materials to reconstruct terror tunnels and further advance its terrorist infrastructure as it has done in the past.
Hamas must ultimately be disarmed and Gaza demilitarized.
To avoid the resumption of hostilities, Gaza must ultimately be demilitarized. In the interim, safeguards must be put in place to prevent Hamas and other Gaza terrorist groups from rearming. As President Obama has said, “Ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.”