September 27, 2021, 3:44 am
Ismail Haniyah has been re-elected as the head of Hamas, the ruling group in the besieged Gaza Strip. It further clarified Haniyah’s control over the militant group, which has been waging a series of violent Israeli operations against the Palestinians.
Haniyah has been the head of Hamas since 201৭. He was in Turkey for the first two years. He has been in Qatar for the past two years. Hamas controls political activity in the Gaza Strip, which is isolated from the occupied West Bank.
Haniya led Hamas’ 11-day war with Israel in May this year over the eviction of Palestinians in the West Bank. That war killed more than 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel. And that war ended with the mediation of Egypt.
A Palestinian official told Reuters after the by-elections that “Ismail Haniyah has been re-elected for a second term as head of the political office of the independence movement.”
Haniyah is 58 years old. He was known as the “right hand” of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was confined to a wheelchair in 2004, has emerged as the leader of Hamas since his assassination.
Under Haniyah’s leadership, Hamas entered politics in 2006. Hamas surprised everyone by winning the Palestinian general election that year. The Fatah party, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, lost. Hamas has ruled Gaza ever since.
After that election in January 2006, Hania became the Prime Minister of Palestine. But the international community did not recognize his government. The United States and the European Union have listed Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Hamas then seized Gaza from the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority in 2007 in a short-lived civil war. Calling Hamas dangerous, Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza. Since then, the Gaza Strip has been under siege.