a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist movement engaged in grass-roots organizing and armed resistance and terrorism against Israel.

< Arabic hamas, literally, zeal

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[hah-mah, hah-mah]
a city in W Syria, on the Orontes River.
Ancient Epiphania.
Biblical name Hamath.
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Hama (ˈhɑːmɑː)
Biblical name: Hamath a city in W Syria, on the Orontes River: an early Hittite settlement; famous for its huge water wheels, used for irrigation since the Middle Ages. Pop: 439 000 (2005 est)

Hamas (ˈhæmæs)
an organization founded in 1987 with the aim of establishing an Islamic state in Palestine
[C20: Arabic: zeal; also an acronym for haraka muqawama islamia Islamic Armed Movement]

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Hamas definition

A radical Palestinian organization founded in 1987 in opposition to the moderate policies of the Palestine Liberation Organization. In a controversial move, Yasir Arafat has brought members of Hamas into positions of authority within the Palestinian Authority. Hamas sponsors terrorism directed at Israel, especially in the form of suicide bombers in crowded places.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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