Sinwar, who was one of the Palestinian terrorists released during Shalit exchange, elected as new Hamas head; Sinwar served 22 years in Israeli prison
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. Wachsmn 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.