- Title: Sinwar reelected as Hamas chief in Gaza
- Date: 10th March 2021
- Summary: GAZA CITY, GAZA (FILE - MAY 6, 2017) (REUTERS) HAMAS GAZA CHIEF, YEHYA AL-SINWAR (LEFT), AND HAMAS LEADER ISMAIL HANIYEH (RIGHT) GREETING ONE ANOTHER VARIOUS OF AL-SINWAR AND HANIYEH DURING CEREMONY KHAN YOUNIS, GAZA (FILE - MARCH 30, 2019) (REUTERS) HAMAS GAZA CHIEF, YAHYA AL-SINWAR SHAKING HANDS WITH PEOPLE AT BORDER AREA (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HAMAS GAZA CHIEF, YAHYA AL-SINWAR, SAYING: "The people have gone out today to confirm holding on to their land, rights, their right to return."
- Embargoed: 24th March 2021 15:42
- Keywords: Hamas Palestinians elections
- Location: GAZA CITY, KHAN YOUNIS, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY, KHAN YOUNIS, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001E3I4J7R
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Yehya Al-Sinwar has been reelected to head Hamas in the Gaza Strip for a second term, officials said on Wednesday (March 10), reflecting his control over both political and military wings of the Islamist group that rules the Palestinian enclave.
Sinwar, Hamas leader in Gaza since 2017, was freed in a 2011 prisoner swap with Israel after spending more than 20 years behind bars on charges that included killing suspected informants against Palestinian militants.
While he hews to Hamas' opposition to coexistence with Israel, Sinwar has maintained a relatively stable standoff across the Gaza border. He has also sought improved ties with Egypt, which also maintains restrictions along its frontier with Gaza.
Sinwar's main challenger in the election, which is only open to Hamas members including those in Israeli prisons, was Nizar Awadallah, a long time official and co-negotiator of the 2011 swap deal.
Hamas has yet to elect a leader for the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Sources said his identity would be kept secret as protection against Israel or the administration of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a Hamas rival.
Filling the position of Hamas's political chief, who also speaks for its military wing, will require more time. The overall leader of Hamas is Ismail Haniyeh, who is also based in Gaza.
Haniyeh is facing a challenge this time by former head of the group Khaled Meshaal, who lives in Qatar.
(Production: Mohammed Salem, Mustafa abu Ganeyeh, Suheir Sheikh)
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