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Ismail Haniya, the New Chief of Hamas

Congratulation to Ismail Haniya, the New Chief of Hamas Political Bureau!

Ismail Haniya, originally from Al-Joura, a village near the occupied city of Asqalan, Haniya comes from a family of refugees who were expelled from their home in 1948. He was born on the 23rd of May 1962, in the Shati refugee camp west of Gaza city.

In 1987, Ismail received his degree in Arabic literature study from Islamic University Gaza. Whereas in the year of 1989, he was held under israel’s security supervision and was released at 1992. Then, he being expelled to Lubnan. He returned to Gaza and appointed as the Dean for Islamic University.

He was detained by the Israeli forces in 1987 following the eruption of the first Intifada, and was imprisoned for 18 days. In 1988 he was again detained; this time he was imprisoned for 6 months. The next year, he was arrested yet again, charged with being a member of Hamas, and sentenced to three years in prison. Following his release in 1992, the Israeli occupation deported Haniya along with other senior Hamas leaders and over 400 other activists to South Lebanon, where they spent more than a year camped at Marj al-Zahour near the Palestinian-Lebanese borders. Haniya and the deportees returned to Gaza in December 1993.

Haniya was appointed as a Palestinian Prime Minister in February 2006. On the 20th of October 2006, a group of armed members from Fatah fired at Haniya’s convoy in an assassination attempt. Haniya survived the attempt, but one of his security escorts was murdered in the attack. Haniya’s house was bombed and flattened during the Israeli war on Gaza in 2014. On the 23rd of April 2014 and in Haniya’s house in Gaza, the al-Shati’ refugee camp reconciliation agreement was signed, ending 7 years of Palestinian division. Keen on maintaining the Palestinian reconciliation, he resigned from his post as prime minister, thus opening the door for the formation of the national consensus government.