Yahya Sinwar elected new Hamas chief in Gaza

Sinwar will replace Ismail Haniyeh as Hamas leader in Gaza

Yahya Sinwar elected new Hamas chief in Gaza

World Bulletin / News Desk

Palestinian resistance group Hamas has elected a new leader for the movement in the blockaded Gaza Strip, a Hamas source said Monday.

Yahya Sinwar was elected as Hamas chief in Gaza following an internal election, replacing Ismail Haniyeh, the source said, requesting anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.

Khalil al-Hayya was also elected as Sinwar’s deputy, the source said.

Haniyeh is widely expected to replace exiled Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal.

Born in 1962 in the Khan Younis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Sinwar is a founder of Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades.

He was detained by Israel in 1988 and slapped with four life sentences for allegedly plotting attacks against Israel.

In 2011, Sinwar was released after 23 years in prison as part of an Egypt-sponsored prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel under which 1,027 Palestinians were freed in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

In 2012, he was elected a member of Hamas’s political bureau.

In September 2015, the United States added Sinwar to its terrorism blacklist.

Hamas rules the Gaza Strip since 2007 when its forces ousted forces loyal to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority following deadly infighting.

Ever since, Gaza has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade that has badly affected livelihood in the tiny Palestinian territory.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Şubat 2017, 12:44