Hamas re-elects Ismail Haniyeh as supreme leader

The Islamic militant group Hamas says it has re-elected its supreme leader

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- The Islamic militant group Hamas on Sunday said it has re-elected its supreme leader.

Ismail Haniyeh, who has been living in exile for the past two years, was given a new four-year term by the Shura Council, the Islamic group's top decision-making body. He was unopposed.

Haniyeh is a former aid to Hamas' founder, Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated in an Israeli airstrike in 2004.

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 movement that seeks Israel's destruction. Since taking control of Gaza in 2007, the group has fought four wars against Israel, most recently in May, and 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%.

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