People

Hamas elects Haniyeh as political head

Hamas elects Haniyeh as political head

In 1989, He was imprisoned by Israeli Occupation Forces for three years and then deported to Marj al-Zuhour on the Lebanese-Palestinian border with a group of Hamas leaders, where he spent a full year in exile.

Hamas stopped short of recognizing Israel in its policy document, stating there would be no "compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and (no) relinquishing (of) any Palestinian rights". The Palestinian group also continued to back the "armed struggle" against Israel.

Hamas is listed as a terrorist organisation by the United States and European Union. These steps started with the deduction of 30 percent of the salaries of its 60,000 employees, who were dismissed from work in the Gaza Strip, followed by demanding that Israel stop providing electricity to Gaza, for which the PA is paying.

"Hamas's document is a smoke screen", he said in a statement shortly after the Hamas document was released.

In a video message posted online on Sunday, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu joined US President Trump in labelling CNN and the New York Times "fake news".

Haniya, who lives in Gaza, has a reputation for being pragmatic and flexible.

An influential military figure, he represents for some the hardest line within the Islamist movement. Following the win, Israel imposed in 2008 a blockade, controlling access to the 2-million populated territory.

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The Israeli army appeared on Saturday to be urging Haniya not to seek a new confrontation. "Time for promise & hope?"

"I hope (Haniya) makes good decisions for the Palestinians he aspires to lead".

The new Hamas leader has made his first public appearance, visiting people expressing solidarity for hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Saeed al-Lawendy, expert with state-run Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies said "Hamas' split from the Brotherhood will lead to lifting its name from the terrorist group list and will beautify the group's image that has been seen as bloody by some world powers".

"We are opposed to Hamas's acceptance of a state within the 1967 borders and we think this is a concession which damages our aims", he said on Islamic Jihad's website.

Juggling militancy with a desire for worldwide recognition, Hamas last week unveiled a new document of principles that is said would guide the group.

Just last March, Israel authorities arrested Muhammad Murtaja, the Gaza branch head of the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) after it was discovered that he was using money given to his branch for humanitarian purposes to arm and train Hamas operatives against Israel.


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