Fact Check

Is Hamas.com a Website for Hamas?

Forensic evidence indicated the website was created on an Israeli platform.

Published Nov 29, 2023

 (Hamas.com screenshot)
Image Via Hamas.com screenshot
Claim:
Hamas.com is a website operated by the militant group Hamas.

The protracted, often bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict exploded into a hot war on Oct. 7, 2023, when the militant Palestinian group Hamas launched a deadly attack on Israel and Israel retaliated by bombarding the Gaza Strip. More than 20,000 people, the vast majority of them Palestinians, were reportedly killed during the first two months of the war alone. The violence is driven by mutual hostilities and territorial ambitions dating back more than a century. The internet has become an unofficial front in that war and is rife with misinformation, which Snopes is dedicated to countering with facts and context. You can help. Read the latest fact checks. Submit questionable claims. Become a Snopes Member to support our work. We welcome your participation and feedback.

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In late November 2023, numerous readers messaged Snopes asking if hamas.com was a real website operated by the militant group during the Israel-Hamas war. Many social media posts raised the same question, or claimed the site was indeed an authentic platform operated by Hamas, which is the Arabic acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement that has held control of Gaza since 2007.

For instance, one user on X claimed, "They [Hamas] are so proud of themselves for what they did in Israel on #October7massacre so they uploaded it all onto their web page [hamas.com]," in reference to Hamas' Oct. 7, 2023, attack in southern Israel that fueled the war. On Nov. 21, 2023, the state of Israel's official X account shared the website's URL, too, along with the caption, "To understand the scale of Hamas’ crimes against humanity visit Hamas.com." Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs' account shared the site, as well.

While the website was real — that is, hamas.com indeed existed, as of this writing, and was publicly accessible — it was not operated by the militant group, as the group's official domain was in fact Hamas.ps, and hamas.com's content was not in line with Hamas' official statements. Rather, evidence showed the website domain name has existed since 1999, and an unknown person, or group, used it to make the in-question site in mid-November 2023.

Though Hamas did not create the site, it was unknown who, or what, did, as of this writing. A number of Jewish and pro-Israel news outlets claimed people attempting to promote Israel's political agenda were responsible. Meanwhile, a domain-search tool showed the site's creator(s) used Wix.com, an Israeli-based website-hosting service. We will update this report if learn more.

Also, according to sources such as the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, The New Arab and The Palestinian Academic Society, the official website for Hamas was hamas.ps, not hamas.com. That site was active as recently as September 2023, internet archives showed, though was taken down since then under circumstances that are unknown.

Here's What Hamas.com Contains

In an attempt to determine hamas.com's origins, we examined its contents. It included several sections, such as "WHAT DOES HAMAS STAND FOR" or "HAMAS TESTIMONIALS." On the homepage, a subhead read, "Share our Success and spread Jihad," with numbers supposedly depicting people killed.

Additionally, the website hosted several videos supposedly showing Hamas' actions. Such clips were titled, "Young Jewish girl punished and taken to Gaza" and "Our Hamas warriors kidnapping an old woman," for examples. Outside of the site, social media users shared that footage — a fact made known by a "Hamas.com" overlay on the clips.

The website also contained various blocks of text written in English that supposedly outlined Hamas' principles or goals. For instance, one section claimed Hamas would "discreetly spread the ideology" or "supersede all democratic systems." (emphasis ours):

Islamic Primacy
Islamic law should supersede all democratic systems

Takfir Doctrine
The whole world should adopt Islam, with non-Muslims being viewed as infidels and targets for assassination

Coordinated Leadership
Establishment synchronized power structures globally

Stealthy Propagation
Establish Social programs to discreetly spread the ideology without attracting unwanted attention.

Another block supposedly explained "Hamas's Presence and Activities in Different Countries." Similarly to the above-mentioned part, the sentences contained clues that they were not actually written by Hamas. For instance, the section claimed Hamas was using "deceptive narratives" and wanted to "overthrow secular governments" (emphasis ours):

Stage 1
Spread through social activities, often masking as movements and charitable entities

Stage 2
Da’wah: Non-Muslims to embrace Islam through deceptive narratives of compassion and societal unity

Stage 3
Engage in local politics with the objective of influencing decision-making at the national level

Stage 4
Using military tactics, obtaining weapons, and using violence to achieve the movement’s goals and interests

Stage 5
Overthrow secular governments and establish a new government based on strict adherence to the Islamic law, and the execution or enslavement of non Muslims

The text was authored to spread a specific narrative about Hamas. Hypothetically speaking, if it had truly been written by the militant group, it would be a blatant documentation of planned violence.

In reality, text authored by Hamas does not use such phrasing. For instance, Hamas' latest charter does not mention overthrowing secular governments or using violence to achieve its goals, like the website claims. Rather, it words its objectives like this: “Hamas affirms that its conflict is with the Zionist project not with the Jews because of their religion.”

Forensic Evidence Indicated the Website Was Created Using an Israeli Platform

Some social media users claimed the website was created on an Israel-based platform, Wix.com. Under the pretense of that claim, the site was possibly created to align with Israel's political agenda.

We have created a new website to implicate hamas, but we aren’t very smart so we created it on an Israeli company’s platform (wix)

(Hamas .com was created by Israel to make it seem like Hamas created it) pic.twitter.com/Mvysrw4TSb

— Benjamin Netanyahu - בנימין נתניהו parody (@netanyahupress) November 21, 2023

We used ICANN — a tool that allows users to look up "current registration data for domain names and Internet number resources" — to independently verify that claim about the site being created on Wix.com, which is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Our findings showed the website was, in fact, created using Wix.com.

(ICANN screenshot)

However, that evidence does not explain the website's purpose, nor prove a connection to Israel. For one, Wix operates globally, with offices in countries such as U.S, Germany, Brazil, India, and Singapore. Any user with access to Wix.com could have created the URL, regardless of the tech company's base in Israel.

According to our findings via ICANN, the website's domain was created in 1999.

We used Wayback Machine, an online Internet archive, to piece together the site's history. Those internet archives showed that, before Nov. 17, 2023, the domain hamas.com was not in its current form — that is, displaying text, videos and images related to the 2023 Israel-Hamas war.

At some points since the domain's creation in 1999, it appeared to be for sale. Additionally, we found examples of the headlines reading, "Hot Israeli Woman," "Six Sigma Training," or "Iraq War Pictures Unedited" displayed on the Hamas.com website in 2006.

(Wayback Machine screenshots)

(Note: Some social media users claimed the website was not safe to visit and could allegedly infect devices with malware. We checked the website's grade on Virus Total, a tool that scans URLs for viruses. The tool uses 90 security vendors to conduct analysis, and only two of them flagged hamas.com as possibly malicious. There was no further information about the alleged risk for visiting the site.)

It's Unknown Who Created the Site

Next, we considered the work of other journalists who investigated the site. While it was not clear who, or what, exactly, turned the website into a propaganda vessel during the Israel-Hamas conflict, journalists agreed Hamas was not involved.

For instance, Shayan Sardarizadeh, a journalist at BBC Verify, called hamas.com a "fake Hamas website."

As the website "https://t.co/ajygxmXHCq" is being tweeted by many official Israeli government accounts, it's worth noting that it's a fake Hamas website.

The real website associated with Hamas is currently offline. pic.twitter.com/w9uHfYK46R

— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) November 21, 2023

The first article on the topic was published by an Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, on Nov. 20, 2023. Pointing to the fact that Hamas' actual website was offline and underscoring that the videos on the website appeared to be similar to the footage released by the IDF, it claimed people attempting to promote Israel's political agenda "hijacked" hamas.com to "highlight Hamas' actions" on Oct. 7.

The day after Haaretz's article published, on Nov. 21, The Jewish Press published an article with similar claims. It called hamas.com "Israeli-run," referring to the fact that the website was shared by multiple Israeli embassies and hosted on an Israeli platform. Moreover, the newspaper described it as a site pretending to be a "presentation of the terrorist organization itself, bragging about the horrors it inflicted on the Zionists."

Meanwhile, the Israeli news website Ynetnews concluded the website's "origins are unclear," though it vividly "showcases Hamas atrocities through graphic videos." The article cited a statement by Israel's Digital Diplomacy Division at the Foreign Ministry that suggested the website was created to confront Hamas' supporters:

'The decision to purchase the domain supposedly belonging to Hamas is a sophisticated way to confront those who sympathize with Hamas and justify its atrocities,' said David Saranga, head of the Digital Diplomacy Division at the Foreign Ministry, in response to Ynet.

Hamas' Real Website: Hamas.ps

Hamas' actual website is Hamas.ps, according to sources including Haaretz. According to MISBAR, an independent Arabic fact-checking platform, Hamas confirmed via Telegram that its official website was hamas.ps:

Hamas warned through a post on Telegram against dealing with websites that impersonate the movement and collects funds as part of distortion, fraud, and espionage, while announcing that their official website is hamas.ps and they have no other websites.

At the time of this writing, hamas.ps was not publicly accessible. When we attempted to go to the website, we got an error message — "This site can’t be reached" — indicating that it was taken down.

However, we were able to access hamas.ps via Wayback Machine. According to those records, here's what the website looked like in September 2023 (we translated text in the below-displayed image using Google Translate's plug-in). It's unknown when, or under what circumstances, the website was taken down after that. Also unknown was when it was created.

(Hamas.ps, Wayback Machine screenshot)

All in all, given that Hamas did not create hamas.com — nor was the militant group operating the site during the Israel-Hamas war — we rated this claim "False."

Sources

“Hamas.Ps down? Current Problems and Status. - DownFor.” Down For, https://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/hamas.ps. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Ibrahim, Nur. “People Claim a Majority of Palestinians in Gaza Elected Hamas — Here’s Why It Isn’t That Simple.” Snopes, 1 Nov. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/news/2023/11/01/majority-palestinians-gaza-elect-hamas/.

ICANN Lookup. https://lookup.icann.org/en. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

“Israelis Hijack Hamas.Com, Turning It Into a Display of October 7 Atrocities.” Haaretz. Haaretz, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-11-20/ty-article/.premium/israelis-hijack-hamas-com-turning-it-into-a-display-of-october-7-atrocities/0000018b-eca2-d8b1-a9df-ecef8b380000. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kahan, Raphael and itamar. “Who’s behind pro-Israel ‘Hamas Website.’” Ynetnews, 25 Nov. 2023. www.ynetnews.com, https://www.ynetnews.com/business/article/bktpbd1ra.

VirusTotal. https://www.virustotal.com/gui/url/f40ff59c4f3947f2b9e95861580b98e4d9b458626b35b40eabaea635484261d5/detection. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Wintour, Patrick, and Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor. “Hamas Presents New Charter Accepting a Palestine Based on 1967 Borders.” The Guardian, 1 May 2017. The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/01/hamas-new-charter-palestine-israel-1967-borders.

Wix Offices Around the World | Help Center | Wix.Com. https://support.wix.com/en/article/wix-offices-around-the-world. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

الصفحة الرئيسية | مسبار. https://misbar.com/en/editorial/2023/11/23/israel-promotes-a-fake-website-affiliated-with-hamas. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

حركة المقاومة الإسلامية - حماس. 5 Sept. 2021, https://web.archive.org/web/20210905063708/https://hamas.ps/ar/.

Aleksandra Wrona is a reporting fellow for Snopes, based in the Warsaw area.