Ismail Haniyeh

Head of Hamas Political Bureau

Ismail Haniyeh is the current head of Hamas’s Political Bureau and a former Palestinian prime minister. Preceded by Khaled Meshal, Haniyeh was elected as the Hamas chief 2017 and won the movement's presidency again in the 2021 internal elections. He was also appointed as the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority following Hamas's victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections.

Haniyeh’s family were forced to flee their home in the occupied Palestinian city of   Ascalon when Zionist gangs ethnically cleansed Palestine in 1948. Born in 1962, the Hamas chief attended his early education in UNRWA-run schools and then continued his education in Gaza. He obtained a master's degree in Arabic Studies from the Islamic University of Gaza. Between 1985 and 1986, Haniyeh was elected as head of the Student Union at the University. After two years of steering the movement, the father of 13, who grew up in the Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza, moved to Qatar in 2019.

The Israeli occupation detained Haniyeh in 1988 for his participation in protests during the First Intifada but released him six months later. However, the Israeli occupation forces held him in detention between 1989 and 1992. Following his second release, Israeli occupation forces deported him to Lebanon along with 400 Palestinian activists. A year later, he returned to Gaza and held a senior position at the Islamic University of Gaza.

Throughout his time in office, Haniyeh dedicated himself to pushing for intra-Palestinian reconciliation and welcomed all efforts in this regard. He also adopted a policy of openness to the Arab and Islamic Ummah and to all of the world's countries.