Gaza City, Gaza Strip (Associated Press)-The Islamic militant group Hamas said on Sunday that it has re-elected Ismail Haniye as its top leader.
Haniye, who has been in exile for the past two years, was awarded a new four-year term by the Shura Council, the highest decision-making body of the Islamic organization. He has no objection.
Haniye was an assistant to Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated in an Israeli air strike in 2004.
After Hamas won the parliamentary elections in 2006, he served as prime minister of Palestine-a year ago, 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 split time between Turkey and Qatar. He did not say whether he would return.
Hamas is an Islamic movement seeking to eliminate Israel. Since taking control of Gaza in 2007, the organization has fought four wars with Israel, the most recent one being in May, and there have been many small battles over the years.
Repeated fighting, coupled with the blockade of Egypt and Israel, has destroyed the economy of Gaza, and the unemployment rate is hovering around 50%.