Hamas is a Palestinian group based in the Gaza Strip. It has a political wing and an armed wing. Both are actively struggling for Palestinian independence.
Founded in 1987, Hamas has been a counter group to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and has been internationally shunned as a terrorist organization because its military wing periodically attacks Israel and its citizens.
Running virtually unopposed, Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah Party has strolled to victory in West Bank municipal elections. Seeking to renew its legitimacy, the win was marred by a low turnout and lackluster support.
Israel's military has launched a series of air attacks on Palestinian territory in retaliation for an earlier rocket attack. The violence has jogged memories of the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in 2014.