Former Gaza chief Islmail Haniya elected leader of Hamas Saturday May 06,2017
Hamas said its former chief in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, was elected overall head of the Palestinian Islamist group on Saturday May 06,2017, succeeding Khaled Meshaal.
Haniya, seen as a pragmatist within the movement, is expected to remain in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian enclave run by Hamas since 2007, unlike Meshaal who lives in exile in Doha and has completed the maximum two terms in office.
“The Hamas Shura Council on Saturday elected Ismail Haniya as head of the movement’s political bureau,” the group’s official website announced.
He beat contenders Mussa Abu Marzuk and Mohamed Nazzal in a videoconference vote of the ruling council’s members in Gaza, the West Bank and outside the Palestinian territories.
The 54-year-old with a salt-and-pepper beard takes charge of Hamas as it seeks to ease its international isolation while not marginalising hardliners within the movement.
Hamas was founded in 1987, soon after the First Intifada broke out, as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,which in its Gaza branch had been non-confrontational towards Israel, refrained from resistance, and was hostile to the PLO