Hamas elects major terrorist as new political head

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya kisses freed Palestinian prisoner Yahya Sinwar, right, a founder of Hamas' military wing, wave as Hamas supporters celebrate the release of hundreds of prisoners following a swap with captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on October 21, 2011 in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

Hamas elected a new political head on Monday, Yahya Sinwar, a senior member and one of the founders of the terrorist organization’s military wing the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Sinwar has replaced former Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh who announced last year that he would step down as head of the terrorist organization. It is believed that Haniyeh will replace Hamas’s current political head Khaled Mashaal in the near future.

Sinwar was incarcerated in Israel for 22 years, sentenced to four life terms in the 1980’s for the murder of Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel. He was also involved in the planning of the abduction of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman in 1994.

Wachsman was abducted by Palestinians who disguised themselves as Orthodox Jews. Wachsman was killed during a mission by the IDF in attempt to save him.

Sinwar was one of the terrorists released of 1,047 in October 2011 as part of a prisoner swap for then captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Shalit was kidnapped in June of 2006 and by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and held captive in the Gaza Strip until October 2011.

He was one of the founders of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades in the 1980’s and has been one of the terrorist organization’s strongest figures. He founded the Brigades intelligence force “Majd” and is on the United States terrorism blacklist.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, February 14, 2017, and reposted with permission.