Hamas names top terrorist as new leader
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Hamas names top terrorist as new leader

High-ranking member of Hamas' armed wing Yehya Sinwar will lead the terror group that has ruled Gaza since 2007

Yahya Sinwar
Yahya Sinwar

Hamas has named a top member of its armed wing as its new leader in the Gaza Strip, an official confirmed, placing one of the Islamic terror group’s most hard-line figures in charge of operations in its core power base.

The appointment of Yahya Sinwar, a senior commander who was freed by Israel in a 2011 prisoner swap, solidifies the takeover of Hamas’s Gaza operations by the armed wing of the group.

The military wing, which controls thousands of fighters and a vast arsenal of rockets, has battled Israel in three wars since Hamas took control of Gaza a decade ago.

Sinwar replaces Ismail Haniyeh, who served as the prime minister of Hamas’s government following the 2007 takeover of Gaza.

Ex-leader of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh
Ex-leader of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh

Haniyeh is now expected to take over as Hamas’s supreme leader, replacing Khaled Mashaal, who lives in exile.

Khalil al-Haya, another political hard-liner, was elected as Sinwar’s deputy.

Hamas started its elections late last year and the entire process is expected to be completed within the next two months, when a new political bureau is to be announced.

Sinwar, who is in his mid-fifties, is a founder of Hamas’s military wing.

The armed group is sworn to Israel’s destruction and has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings, shootings and other attacks.

Sinwar was sentenced to four life terms by Israel in 1988 for a series of crimes, including his role as mastermind of the abduction and killing of two Israeli soldiers.

During his final years in prison, he was the leader of the hundreds of Hamas prisoners held by Israel.

In 2011, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to release Sinwar, along with about 1,000 other prisoners, in exchange for Gilad Schalit, an Israeli soldier who had been captured by Hamas five years earlier in a cross-border raid.

Israel says that Sinwar’s brother, Mohammed, was among the masterminds of the soldier’s capture and negotiated the prisoner swap.

Sinwar, who rejects any reconciliation with Israel, has quickly restored his power in the movement since his return to Gaza.

He is widely believed to be behind last year’s unprecedented killing of another top Hamas commander in an internal power struggle.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments