The Islamic militant group Hamas announced on Sunday that its supreme leader, Ismail Haniyeh, had been re-elected.
The Shura Council, the Islamic group’s top decision-making body, gave Haniyeh, who has been living in exile for the past two years, a new four-year term. He had no competition.
Haniyeh was a former aide to Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, who was killed in a 2004 Israeli bombing.
After Hamas won legislative elections in 2006, he became Palestinian Prime Minister, a year before the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza from President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah-led forces. Before being elected as the movement’s leader in 2017, he worked as the group’s leader in Gaza.
Haniyeh left Gaza in 2019 and has split his time between Turkey and Qatar. He has not said whether he will return.
Hamas is an Islamic terrorist organization that seeks to destroy Israel. Since seizing control of Gaza in 2007, the group has fought four wars against Israel, the most recent in May, as well as numerous smaller battles over the years.
The repeated fighting, combined with an Egyptian-Israeli blockade, has decimated Gaza’s economy, with unemployment hovering around 50%.