GAZA (Dispatches) – Ismail Haniyeh has been elected to a second term as head of Hamas, the Palestinian resistance movement based in the Gaza Strip, two Palestinian officials told Reuters on Sunday.
“Brother Ismail Haniyeh was re-elected as the head of the movement’s political office for a second time,” one official told Reuters. His term will last four years.
Haniyeh, the group’s leader since 2017, has controlled its political activities throughout armed resistance against the Zionist regime - including an 11-day bombardment of the strip by the Zionist regime in May that left over 250 dead in Gaza.
He was the right-hand man to Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in Gaza, before the wheelchair-bound leader was assassinated in 2004.
Haniyeh, 58, led Hamas’ entry into politics in 2006, when they were victors in Palestinian parliamentary elections, defeating a divided Fatah party led by President Mahmoud Abbas. Haniyeh became prime minister shortly after the January 2006 victory.
The Zionist regime has imposed a blockade of Gaza since then.
In another development, the resistance movement on Saturday slammed the United States for continuing to provide military support to the Zionist regime in light of a new arms deal between the two allies.
“The U.S. decision to present a massive arms deal to the Zionist entity encourages the occupation to continue its aggression against our people and their sanctities,” Hamas Spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement, Anadolu news agency reported.
Qassem said the U.S. risks being an accomplice in the regime’s aggression against the Palestinians by continuing to support it “with weapons, money and political cover for the occupation policies”.
He noted such an approach by the U.S. emboldens the Zionist regime to rebel against international laws and resolutions and heightens tensions in the region.
The U.S. State Department said in a statement Friday that it approved the sale of 18 Sikorsky CH-53K heavy-lift helicopters to the occupying regime as part of a $3.4 billion deal.