Timeline: Terror Attacks by Hamas Since Israel’s Gaza Withdrawal - The Israel Project - Archive Timeline: Terror Attacks by Hamas Since Israels 2005 Gaza Withdrawal Terrorist training camps in Iran In August 2005, Israel voluntarily evacuated all of the roughly 9,000 Israelis living in Gaza and handed control of Gaza over to the Palestinian Authority (P.A.). Israel had hoped that doing so would pave the way for an independent Palestinian state. Instead, Iran-backed Hamas has used Gaza as a launching pad for attacking Israel with thousands of rockets, missiles, and mortars. Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007 in a bloody internecine battle against P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah Party. In addition to the rocket and mortar attacks, Hamas with the help of Iran has carried out numerous deadly attacks on Israelis in Israel and near the border with Gaza. In 2008, Iran helped Hamas upgrade its mortar supplyfor attacks on Israeli communities bordering Gaza.  Hamas operatives undergo training in tactical warfare and weapons operation. They acquire skills for launching rockets, detonating improvised explosive devices, sniper tactics, and other terrorist and guerrilla warfare techniques, similar to those commonly used by Iran-backed Hezbollah. In a renewed burst of violence at the end of 2008, Palestinian terror groups in Gaza fired hundreds of rockets and mortars at Israeli cities and towns for several weeks, prompting Israel to launch a defensive operation against Hamas in Gaza from December 2008-January 2009. Since the month-long operation, the number of Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks against Israel has fallen dramatically.