Hamas Re-Elects Ismail Haniyeh 08/02 06:17
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- The Islamic militant group Hamas on Sunday
said it has re-elected its supreme leader.
Ismail Haniyeh, who has been living in exile for the past two years, was
given a new four-year term by the Shura Council, the Islamic group's top
decision-making body. He was unopposed.
Haniyeh is a former aid to Hamas' founder, Ahmed Yassin, who was
assassinated in an Israeli airstrike in 2004.
He served as the Palestinian prime minister after Hamas won parliamentary
elections in 2006 -- a year before the Islamic militant group seized control of
Gaza from the rival Fatah-led forces of President Mahmoud Abbas. He served as
Hamas' leader in the group's Gaza stronghold before being elected as head of
the movement in 2017.
Haniyeh left Gaza in 2019 and has split his time between Turkey and Qatar.
He has not said whether he will return.
Hamas is an Islamic movement that seeks Israel's destruction. Since taking
control of Gaza in 2007, the group has fought four wars against Israel, most
recently in May, and numerous smaller battles over the years.
The repeated fighting, combined with an Egyptian-Israeli blockade, has
decimated Gaza's economy, with unemployment hovering around 50%.