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Islamism / Muslim Brotherhood /
Arabic: ikhwān 'al-muslimīn

Palestinian Islamist organization started by the Egyptian Hassan al-Banna in the 1940's. Banna was the leader of the original Egyptian Brotherhood.
From the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, the original group, Hamas emerged in the late 1980's. In many respects, Hamas represents the continuation of the Brotherhood. Yet the Brotherhood still exists as its own organization, with a positive relationship to Hamas.

1942: Hassan al-Banna begins establishing branches of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.
1948-49: Following the First Palestinian War, the 2 remaining areas of Palestine, Gaza and the West Bank, are placed respectively under Egypt and Jordan. Since that time, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood works closely with the Brotherhoods of the other two countries.
1973: After the Six-Day War of 1967, the West Bank and Gaza are placed under Israeli occupation. Israel decides to give the leader of the Brotherhood, Ahmad Yassin, special permission to run social, religious and welfare institutions among Palestinian Muslims.
1983: Yassin is arrested by Israeli occupation authorities for illegal possession of weapons. He is sentenced to long term imprisonment.
1985: Yassin is released. Due to his conflict with Israel, he experiences a growth in popularlity among the Palestinians, and from that point forward the number of brothers grows quickly.
1987: With the beginning of the Intifada, Yassin and 6 other leaders join the protest against Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian territory. The outcome of this politicization is the organization Hamas.

By Tore Kjeilen