Meet new Gaza Hamashole leader Yahya Sinwar, who is taking over from Ismail Haniyeh.
But don’t let his rhyming name fool you – there is nothing poetic about this nasty SOB.
Yahya Sinwar, considered one of Hamas’s most ruthless leaders, has been elected as the terror group’s leader in the Gaza Strip, a Hamas official confirmed Monday.
Sinwar, 55, generally avoids the limelight, but is seen as an unpredictable hardliner who inspires the loyalty of Hamas’s military wing’s leadership.
He might avoid the limelight, but he doesn’t seem to avoid the lime green.
Although does seem to avoid the dentist.
And he’s a real hardliner, even among Hamasholes:
Sinwar, sentenced to life in 1989 for murdering Palestinian collaborators with Israel, spent 22 years in Israeli prisons before being released in the 2011 prisoner exchange deal for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
In September 2015, Sinwar was added to the US terrorism blacklist alongside two other members of Hamas’s military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades.
A graduate in Arabic, he was born in the Khan Younis refugee camp in southern Gaza and founded “Majd,” one of Hamas’s intelligence services.
He is considered hawkish even within Hamas, and opposes any compromise in its policies regarding the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Even from prison, he was one of the main opponents of the Shalit exchange deal that saw him freed because he regarded the terms, one Israeli soldier for 1,027 prisoners, as a surrender to Israel’s conditions.
Since his release, he has managed to amass a great deal of political power in Hamas, and was already widely considered the strongest man in Gaza even though he was not the head of Hamas’s military or political wing.
Washington accuses him of continuing to advocate kidnapping of Israeli soldiers as a bargaining chip for Palestinian prisoners.
Hamas currently claims to have four Israelis in captivity in Gaza, though Israel says the two soldiers among them were killed in the 2014 war.
Kobi Michael, an analyst and former head of the Palestinian Desk at Israel’s Ministry for Strategic Affairs, said the appointment would cause alarm among Israeli politicians.
“He represents the most radical and extreme line of Hamas,” he told reporters. “Sinwar believes in armed resistance. He doesn’t believe in any sort of cooperation with Israel.”
Mr. Ishtiwi, who is survived by two wives and three children, was not the first member of Hamas’s armed wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, to be killed by his own. What was unprecedented was the way his relatives spoke out publicly about it.
The family was considered Hamas royalty for having sheltered leaders wanted by Israel, including Mohammed Deif, the Qassam commander in chief lionized by Palestinians.
Mr. Ishtiwi’s mother even sent Mr. Deif, who has lost an eye and limbs but has survived repeated assassination attempts by Israel, a tearful video message in which she entreated him to release her son.
Ibrahim al-Madhoun, a writer close to Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, said the situation spotlighted shifts since Yehya Sinwar was elected in 2012 to represent Qassam in Hamas’s political wing, a role akin to defense minister. Mr. Sinwar’s actions, he said, showed that even senior figures were not sacrosanct.
“He is harsher than other leaders — he wants his army to be pure,” Mr. Madhoun said in an interview. “Those who are in the Qassam are the most important people in Gaza. There is a need, they say, to show that these people are not untouchable.”
Here’s hoping he doesn’t last too long in the job, before we help him get to that seventy-threesome in “Paradise.”
Update: Then there’s this..
Israel saved the life of newly elected Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar from a brain tumor. Now he vows to annihilate Israel.
— Dani Dayan (@AmbDaniDayan) February 13, 2017