Ismail Haniyeh re-elected as Hamas leader

Ismail Haniyeh re-elected as leader of Hamas for a four-year term.

Elad Benari ,

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh

Ismail Haniyeh has been re-elected as leader of Hamas, officials said on Sunday, according to Reuters.

Haniyeh, who has served as Hamas chief since 2017, has controlled the group's political activities in Gaza, Judea and Samaria and the diaspora largely from outside Gaza, splitting his time between Turkey and Qatar for the past two years.

"Brother Ismail Haniyeh was re-elected as the head of the movement's political office for a second time," one source told Reuters following an internal election among Hamas members. His term will last four years.

Haniyeh led Hamas' entry into politics in 2006, when they were surprise victors in Palestinian Authority parliamentary elections, defeating the Fatah party led by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

A year later, Hamas took over Gaza from Fatah in a bloody coup.

Since then, the two groups have been embroiled in a bitter rivalry. The two organizations signed a reconciliation deal in October of 2017, under which the PA was to have resumed full control of Gaza by December of that year.

That deadline, however, was initially put back by 10 days, had later reportedly hit “obstacles”, and has never been implemented.