Acronym for the Arab words for: Islamic Resistance Movement. Literally, it means "zeal." Hamas was founded in the late 1980s during a Palestinian intifada, in Gaza and the West Bank. The State Department declared Hamas is a "foreign terrorist organization." In a nutshell its goal is to destroy Israel and to put in place an Islamic Palestinian state. Its methods are said to have included assassination, and suicide bombing. In addition to these somewhat shady dealings, Hamas also runs a network of mosques and social service organizations for Palestinian people.