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Most of us have been aware of Hamas for decades now. They are widely recognized as a radical Muslim terrorist group committed to the destruction of Israel. Hamas holds the official designation of a “terrorist group” by both the United States and the European Union, and they govern Gaza with a ruthlessly firm hand. Their actions, including rocket, mortar, and suicide attacks, have resulted in numerous Israeli casualties over the decades. However, what’s not as widely known is that Hamas owes its existence to Israel and the United States. These two allies played a significant role in the formation and creation of this terror group. Back in the 1970s, the U.S. and Israel took a fringe group of Palestinian Islamists and transformed them into one of the world’s most notorious and deadly terror organizations ever.

The Intercept:

This isn’t a conspiracy theory. Listen to former Israeli officials such as Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Segev, who was the Israeli military governor in Gaza in the early 1980s. Segev later told a New York Times reporter that he had helped finance the Palestinian Islamist movement as a “counterweight” to the secularists and leftists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Fatah party, led by Yasser Arafat (who himself referred to Hamas as “a creature of Israel.”)

“The Israeli government gave me a budget,” the retired brigadier general confessed, “and the military government gives to the mosques.”

“Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” Avner Cohen, a former Israeli religious affairs official who worked in Gaza for more than two decades, told the Wall Street Journal in 2009. Back in the mid-1980s, Cohen even wrote an official report to his superiors warning them not to play divide-and-rule in the Occupied Territories, by backing Palestinian Islamists against Palestinian secularists. “I … suggest focusing our efforts on finding ways to break up this monster before this reality jumps in our face,” he wrote.

They didn’t listen to him. And Hamas, as I explain in the fifth installment of my short film series for The Intercept on blowback, was the result. To be clear: First, the Israelis helped build up a militant strain of Palestinian political Islam, in the form of Hamas and its Muslim Brotherhood precursors; then, the Israelis switched tack and tried to bomb, besiege, and blockade it out of existence.

While this information has been accessible for quite some time, no one has explained it as effectively as our own Ron Paul back in the day. He revealed how the United States and Israel played a role in the creation of Hamas as a countermeasure against Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian political leader and chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Sadly, this isn’t really “shocking” news when you consider the history of the United States. Many of the terrorist groups currently in existence have been influenced or supported in some way by the United States. This often happens when the U.S. is involved in funding wars or supporting certain groups labeled as “rebels.” As time passes, these same “rebels” we once supported often become our sworn enemies, perpetuating the cycle of endless forever wars.