In a setback for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the militant Hamas organization has refused to agree to stop attacks against Israelis and participate in Palestinian elections in January. The statement followed four days of negotiations between PLO leaders and Hamas representatives in Cairo. Sources close to the negotiations said Hamas did, however, consent to a "gentlemen's agreement" to suspend the attacks, which usually have taken the form of suicide bombings and have killed 130 Israelis since the original peace agreement in 1993. A pledge from Hamas to halt the attacks is considered to be critical test for Arafat to show he has influence over the terrorist group. Hamas was formed in 1988 as an offshoot of the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood. It is committed to a holy war to liberate not only the Gaza Strip and West Bank but also Israel from Jewish control. The group runs a large network of social institutions, including mosques, clinics, schools and charities. In recent years, Hamas had been estimated to command the loyalty of about 40% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but recent polls indicate that the number has dropped to approximately 20%.