Ismail Haniyeh Profile: Hamas Leader For Palestine Independence
ArkWebX, Profile of Ismail Haniyeh – Since last Sunday (8/10), Israel has launched several air strikes in the Gaza Strip after Hamas’ surprise attack. More than 230 Gazans have been killed and 1,000 injured so far, according to officials there.
The Israeli army has asked residents in seven different areas of long-blockaded Gaza to leave their homes and move to the city center or take shelter in shelters. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who should have known that the consequences of escalation with Israel would result in many casualties, instead promised to expand attacks to the West Bank and Jerusalem, because the residents of the Gaza Strip have lived under an Israeli blockade for more than 16 years.
“How many times have we warned you that the Palestinian people have been living in refugee camps for 75 years, and you refuse to recognize the rights of our people?” said Ismail Haniyeh, quoted by Reuters.
Haniyeh said that Hamas’ decision to bombard Israel was due to the weakening of diplomatic relations between other Arab countries and Israel. This is considered to ignore the Palestinian struggle to obtain world sovereignty. He also highlighted the threat to Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque and Israel’s continuous blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Just so you know, since 2007 the Palestinian government has been running in parallel because there are two main factions. First, Fatah, led by Mahmoud Abbas and President of Palestine, with the territory of the West Bank. Both Hamas led by Ismail Haniyeh are based in the Gaza Strip. These two main Palestinian factions often clash with each other over how to deal with Israel politically. If Fatah prefers the diplomatic route, Hamas, on the other hand, believes in the confrontational route.
However, for the Hamas attack this week, Abbas fully supports the right of his people to defend themselves from Israeli attacks. Even though more than 2.3 million people live in the Gaza Strip. He made this statement after an emergency meeting with the Palestinian government.
Ismail Haniyeh profile
It will be interesting to see who Ismail Haniyeh really is. Ismail Haniyeh was born in 1963 to a Palestinian Arab family who fled their village near Ashqelon (now part of Israel) in 1948, Haniyeh experienced his childhood in the Al-Shāṭiʾ refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.
As a refugee child, he received his education in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), where he also received food and medicine aid.
In 1981, Haniyeh enrolled at the Islamic University of Gaza, focusing on the study of Arabic literature. His education and activeness in student politics formed the initial basis for his involvement in Islamic movements, especially the Muslim Brotherhood.
In 1988, when the Islamist group Hamas was formed, Haniyeh became one of the founding members and immediately gained attention for his close relationship with Hamas’s original leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
Ismail Haniyeh political activities faced challenges when he was arrested by Israeli authorities in 1988 and again in 1989. In 1992, Israel deported him to southern Lebanon along with about 400 other members of the Islamist group. However, he returned to Gaza in 1993 after the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
After returning, Haniyeh was not only active in politics, but also developed into an important figure in the Hamas leadership structure. In 1997, he became the personal secretary of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and maintained this trust until the end of Yassin’s life.
The two of them had always been targets of Israeli assassination attempts, one of which was in 2003, but Sheikh Yassin was finally killed several months later in an Israeli air strike in 2004.
The peak of his career occurred in 2006 when Hamas participated in the Palestinian legislative elections. Haniyeh heads the Hamas list, and the group won a majority of seats in parliament.
As a result, Ismail Haniyeh became Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. His government, however, faced international pressure and an economic blockade due to the tough stance of Israel and many Western countries towards the Hamas leadership.
In 2007, after prolonged tensions and armed clashes between Hamas and Fatah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed Ismail Haniyeh government and declared emergency in the West Bank.
Ismail Haniyeh then formed the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, where he leads to this day. Despite continuing to face economic pressure and blockade policies from Israel, Haniyeh maintains political control in Gaza.
In 2014, Haniyeh took the significant step of resigning as prime minister of Hamas as part of reconciliation efforts between Hamas in Gaza and the PLO in the West Bank.
Although no longer serving as prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh remains Hamas’ main leader in the Gaza Strip. In 2017, Yahya Sinwar replaced Haniyeh as leader in Gaza, while Haniyeh moved to the role of head of Hamas’ political bureau, replacing Khaled Meshaal.
History of Hamas
Hamas (Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah) or the Islamic Resistance Movement, is a political and militant organization that emerged in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hamas adheres to the Islamic ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, a similar movement founded in Egypt in the 1920s.
Meanwhile, Hamas was founded at the end of 1987 or during the period known as the First Intifada, which was an uprising of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation. On the other hand, Islamic factions began to play a significant role, and Hamas emerged as one of the main entities.
Hamas’ initial leader was Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a Palestinian cleric and activist who played a key role in founding the organization. Hamas’ initial focus was on education, social welfare, and empowerment of Muslim communities.
Initially Hamas established schools and charitable institutions, provided assistance to families affected by the conflict, and provided other social services. Thus gaining support from the majority of the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
It is important to note that Hamas also assumes a social and political role, it also has a military wing that is responsible for various attacks against Israel. For this reason, a number of Western countries and Israel consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization.
In 1993, in the context of the Oslo Agreement between the PLO and Israel, Hamas denounced the agreement and continued attacks against Israel. During this period, there were a series of suicide bomb attacks on Israeli territory by members of Hamas.
In 2006, Hamas won a majority of seats in Palestinian legislative elections. This victory took many by surprise, and its impact created major tensions among Palestinian factions, especially with Fatah leading the PLO. As a result, Gaza became the center of conflict between Hamas and Fatah.
Tensions between the two factions reached a peak in 2007 when Hamas seized control of the Gaza strip after prolonged armed fighting. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the joint government and formed a new government in the West Bank that is recognized by many countries. Since then, Gaza has been under siege by Israel and Egypt to prevent arms smuggling into the region.
The blockade has had a serious impact on the daily lives of Gaza residents, creating difficult humanitarian conditions. Hamas continues to maintain control in Gaza, while Fatah rules in the West Bank. Attempts at reconciliation between the two factions have always been made, but with limited results.
In recent decades, the conflict between Israel and Hamas has involved a series of military operations, including Operation Summer Gegana in 2014, which caused massive casualties and damage in Gaza. Whenever there is an escalation of violence, international mediation efforts are made to reach a ceasefire and resolve the conflict. However, until now, a sustainable solution to this conflict remains an unresolved challenge and the latest, starting this weekend, is the escalation of the conflict between Hamas and Israel.