Hamas said its former chief in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, was elected overall head of the Palestinian resistance group on Saturday, succeeding Khaled Meshaal.
Haniya is expected to remain in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian enclave run by Hamas since 2007, unlike Meshaal who lives in exile in Doha and has completed the maximum two terms in office.
“The Hamas Shura Council on Saturday elected Ismail Haniya as head of the movement’s political bureau,” the group’s official website announced.
He beat contenders Moussa Abu Marzuk and Mohamed Nazzal in a videoconference vote of the ruling council’s members in Gaza, the West Bank and outside the Palestinian territories.
On Monday, Hamas unveiled a new policy document, announcing it accepts the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, east Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Gaza, the territories occupied by the Zionist entity in the Six-Day War of 1967.
It also says its struggle is not against Jews because of their religion but against the Zionist entity as an occupier.
The original 1988 charter will not be dropped, just supplemented, the movement said.
Hamas officials said the revised document in no way amounts to recognition of the Zionist entity as a state.