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Hamas says Ismail Haniyeh chosen as Islamic group's leader
May 30 2017, 07:18 | Irvin Gilbert
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Hamas is under increasing pressure in Gaza as it struggles under a blockade by Israel and what it says is a campaign by Palestinian leaders in the West Bank to undermine its authority. The current order did not receive such approval and is therefore invalid.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) The new leader of Hamas made his first public appearance in the new role on Monday, visiting a solidarity tent in his native Gaza for hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Haniyeh, who also served as Mashaal's deputy for four years, is seen as a pragmatist within Hamas who will likely seek to improve the group's global standing.
Hamas said that the new leader will be good for the organization.
The newly-elected leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, has pledged his support for the Palestinian political prisoners now waging a historic mass strike in Israeli cells. In addition, the site on which the movement was founded by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the Shati refugee camp, is where Haniyeh was born.
In recent weeks, the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, has cut the wages of state employees in Gaza by up to a third while also informing Israel it will no longer pay for electricity being sent to Gaza. This is a move in the right direction for Hamas.
Yahya Sinwar was jailed by Israel until October 2011, when he was freed along with more than 1,000 other Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured five years earlier.
A Palestinian woman pulled out a knife and tried to attack Israeli officers on duty, who opened fire and killed her in Jerusalem on Sunday, police said. Sanwar has close ties with Iran, which provides Hamas with weapons and training.
The hamas manifesto was released at a time of escalating tensions between the two sides.
"His election is a sign that the Gaza leadership has regained the upper hand from those outside", she said.
He also described the Oslo Accords as "not only a fundamental compromise of Palestinian rights to the occupation, but were also a source of major division in the Palestinian arena over both means and objectives, transferring the conflict into the Palestinian domestic scene". Unfortunately, we're seeing that they're harsh with us and merciful (with the Israelis). "Sometimes they succeed and other times they don't, but their philosophy is to keep good relations with everybody". After chasing out Abbas' forces in 2007, it fought three cross-border wars with Israel, starting in 2008.
"I think Hamas will be more in (Gaza) and less out", said Hroub, a political scientist at Northwestern University's Doha campus. Following the leadership void in the terror group, Haniyeh took over the terror group. Unlike his predecessor, Haniyeh is also expected to remain based in Gaza. "Living in Gaza is risky as he is likely to be targeted by Israel", the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.