Hamas says Ismail Haniyeh chosen as Islamic group's leader

  • Hamas says Ismail Haniyeh chosen as Islamic group's leader

Hamas says Ismail Haniyeh chosen as Islamic group's leader

After he was declared as the new chief of Hamas political bureau chief on Saturday, Fatah movement led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was reported as saying that "it welcomed the election" and hoped that Haniyeh's major focus would be placed on the Palestinian internal situation "in order to achieve unity and end internal division".

This change of leadership comes just days after Hamas released its new policy document last week accepting the establishment of a Palestinian state based on 1967 lines.

Laying the groundwork to take over the PLO: At present, Hamas' overriding aim is to translate the political power it has accumulated via its control of the Gaza Strip and the support it receives from Islamic states such as Iran to take over the representative Palestinian institutions that are recognized by the worldwide community.

Netanyahu took issue with a series of reports in the Western press this week about a declaration Monday from one faction of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas that the group wants to restore the 1967 borders with Israel.

Haniyeh replaces Khaled Meshaal, who served as Hamas leader since 1996.

The Rafah crossing is Gaza's only gateway to the outside world not controlled by Israel, but it has remained largely closed in recent years because of tensions between Egypt and Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas. "He was one of the leaders who believed that participating in the political system would make the worldwide community open their arms, strengthen the Palestinians, and force Israel to deal with Hamas".

Born in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza to parents who fled from the city of Asqalan after the state of Israel was created in 1948, Haniya studied at the al-Azhar Institute in Gaza and graduated with a degree in Arabic literature from the Islamic University in Gaza.

In its founding charter, Hamas called for setting up an Islamic state in historic Palestine, or the territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, which also includes Israel. Instead, Palestinians under the rule of Hamas in Gaza have suffered oppression, hardship, war and deprivation.

To subvert Israel's power and its exercise of the right to self-defense, Hamas will employ diplomatic, legal, and propaganda means, using diplomatic pressures, resolutions of global institutions, sanctions, and rulings of worldwide courts.

Ismail Haniya and his family have always lived in the Gaza Strip.

 The document refers to "Palestine, which extends from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean in the west" and incorporates the entirety of what is now Israel into "Palestine." The new charter is consistent with past calls by Hamas leadership for violence against Israelis.

One strategy could see Hamas seek to improve relations with European countries, a European official based in Jerusalem said, particularly with "Abbas under pressure at home and (US President Donald) Trump not giving any clear sign of willing to meet Abbas's basic demands".

"Hamas has been isolated regionally and internationally since the outbreak of the so-called "arab spring" and the exclusion of the muslim brotherhood in egypt", mukhaimer abu saada, a political analyst in gaza, told afp.

Refusing to quit, Haniya continued as the Gaza Strip's government premier until June 2014, when another reconciliation agreement was reached, forming a consensus government headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

The following year, he led Hamas to a shock legislative election victory over Abbas's Fatah and became prime minister.

Living in Qatar, where Meshal made his headquarters, would enable Haniyeh to move around more easily.