Difference Between Fatah and Hamas (With Table)

Due to several historical narratives, on May 14, 1948, the state of Israel was founded. Palestinians consider Israel as their land invader. With the time, Palestinian land was started absorbing due to expanding of Israel territory. As a result, the situation gets worse.  

The main political forces, namely Fatah and Hamas, emerged in the movement for Palestinian liberation. They both are still relevant and tries to establish a unity government. There are several distinctions between Fatah and Hamas. 

Fatah vs Hamas 

The main difference between Fatah and Hamas is their ideologies. Fatah recognized Israel and wanted to build a state on Borders in 1967. On the other hand, in 1967, Hamas accepted the Palestinian state but had not recognized Israel. Social democracy, two-state solution, Palestinian nationalism, and secularism are the ideologies of Fatah. But the ideologies of Hamas are Islamism, anti-Zionism, religion, and antisemitism. 

The full name of Fatah is Harakat al-Tahir al-Filistiniya which means Palestinian Liberation Movement. Fatah is generally the reverse acronym of its full name. In the late 1950s, Fatah was created to liberate Palestine through violent and armed struggles from Israelis.  

The full name of Hamas is Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya which means Islamic resistance movement. It is an extremist party, but Israel considers it a terrorist organization. The goal of this party is to destruct Israel and create an Islamic state. It was preceded by the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood

Comparison Table Between Fatah and Hamas 

Parameters of ComparisonFatahHamas
ChairmanMahmoud AbbasIsmail Haniyeh
Founded1959 (as a political movement)
1965 (as a political party)
In 1987
HeadquarterRamallah, West BankGazza, Gazza Strip
Legislative council45/13274/132

What is Fatah? 

Formerly, the Fatah was known as Palestinian National Liberation Movement. It is a political party, namely the Palestinian nationalist Social Democratic political party. It is the second-largest party in PLC or the Palestinian Legislative Council. The president of the Palestinian Authority, namely Mahmoud Abbas is also a member of Fatah. The slogan of this group is “Ya Jabal Ma yhezak Reeh”. It simply means “The winds cannot shake the mountain”.

In the past, Fatah had a strong involvement in the struggle for resolution and has maintained several militant groups. It had been identified with Yasser Arafat, who was a founder of this movement/political party and worked as a chairman until his death (2004).  

Farouk Kaddoumi succeeded him constitutionally to the position of chairman of Fatah. He continued his position until the year 2009 and was succeeded by Abbas. Since Arafat’s death, it is more obvious to see factionalism within the diverse ideological movement. The location for its headquarter is at Gazza, Gazza Strip

In the election of PLC conducted in 2006, Fatah lost the majority to Hamas. As a result, conflict arose between Fatah and Hamas. Fatah maintains the authority over the Palestinian National Authority (West Bank) and is also active in the control of Palestinian refugee camps. When it comes to the political position, Fatah is from center-left to left-wing.

What is Hamas? 

Hamas is a militant, nationalist, and Palestinian Sunni Islamic fundamentalist organization. Dawah is its social service wing, whereas Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades is its military wing.  From the Hamas foundation, it rejected negotiations that might cede any land. The national affiliation is an alliance of Palestinian forces, whereas the international affiliation is Muslim Brotherhood.

In 2006, it won the election of Palestinian legislative. In 2007, the battle of Gazza was fought, and it became the governing authority of its strip, namely Gazza strip. Hasam also holds the majority of the Palestinian national authority’s parliament. Sunni Islam is the religion of Hamas. 

Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by Canada, Israel, United States, Japan, and European Union. Hamas leaders are based in Qatar, namely Khaleed Mashaal and Islami Haniyeh. In 2018, the United States resolution condemned it as a terrorist organization, but United Nations General Assembly rejected the resolution of the United States.  

There were several wars in which Israel and Hamas are engaged with varying intensity. The military wing of Hamas has launched attacks against soldiers and civilians of Israel. And described them as a retaliation, especially for the assassinations. The peace agreement of 1993 was signed between Israel and PLO. But this agreement was denounced by the Islamic Jihad groups who used suicide bombers for the intensified terror campaign. 

Main Differences Between Fatah and Hamas 

  1. In terms of objectives, Fatah recognized Israel and wanted to build a state on Borders in 1967, while in 1967, Hamas accepted the Palestinian state but had not recognized Israel.  
  2. The ideologies of Fatah are a social democracy, two-state solution, Palestinian nationalism, and secularism, whereas Islamism, anti-Zionism, religious and antisemitism are ideologies of Hamas.  
  3. The founders of Fatah are Salah Khalaf, Yasser Arafat, Khalil al-Wazir, and Khaled Yashruti. On the other hand, the founders of Hamas are Hassan Yousef, Mahmoud Zahar, Ibrahim Quba, Mohammad Taha, and many more.  
  4. When it comes to affiliation, Fatah has PLO (national affiliation), the party of European socialist (European affiliation), and progressive alliances socialist international (international affiliation). But Hamas has an alliance of Palestinian forces (national affiliation) and Muslim Brotherhood (international affiliation).  
  5. Fatah has a negotiation strategy towards Israel. On the flip side, Hamas has an armed resistance strategy towards Israel. 


It can be concluded that both Fatah and Hamas are two of the political forces which played an important role in Palestine’s liberation. They both are still relevant with different objectives, founders, origins, ideologies, strategies, etc. Fatah wanted to build a state on Borders in 1967. On the flip side, in 1967, Hamas accepted the Palestinian state.   

Social democracy, Palestinian nationalism, secularism, and a two-state solution are ideologies of Fatah. But ideologies of Hamas are Islamism, antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and religion. The headquarter of Fatah is located at Ramallah, West Bank. On the other hand, Gaza, the Gaza strip is the headquarter location of Hamas. 


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=iql0aaCvTIwC&oi=fnd&pg=PP11&dq=fatah&ots=EPf47Wggmv&sig=cPwLMLFyntx4ESd5uXPc-vjdiW8
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=-XsW4-8VVJ4C&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=hamas&ots=QjHrdo-A1J&sig=PNZ_405mv5TJuimmCnQWAYIuW1k
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