Who is Saleh al-Arouri, the new head of Hamas in the West Bank, who was arrested by Israel for 18 years? | A homeland tweeting outside the flock


An informed Palestinian source confirmed the election of Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas, for the position of head of the movement in the West Bank region for the current term (2021-2025).

This came, according to what was reported by Palestinian media, and confirmed by an informed source to the Turkish “Anatolia” agency.

Hamas internal elections

Hamas holds internal elections within its organizational frameworks under very complex political and security conditions.

The recent elections so far resulted in the renewal of Yahya Sinwar as president in the Gaza Strip, announced on March 10, and the election of Khaled Meshaal as president of the “outside” region to succeed Maher Salah, on April 12.

A well-informed Palestinian source told Anadolu Agency that the leadership bodies of the “Hamas” movement in the West Bank elected al-Arouri as president of this region.

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The source, who preferred not to be identified, said that by electing Saleh al-Arouri, the movement would have completed the election of the heads of its three regions: (the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Kharga region “outside Palestine”).

Several Palestinian websites, led by Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV, reported the news of Saleh al-Arouri’s election as president of the West Bank region.

Where the channel quoted the West Bank Elections Committee of Hamas in a statement that the consultative and leadership bodies in the region had finished electing their president, saying that Saleh al-Arouri had been elected for this position.

According to the informed source of Anatolia, it is expected in the coming days that the movement’s General Shura Council (comprised of the three regions) will convene in order to elect the head of the movement’s political bureau (the highest leadership position), which is currently occupied by Ismail Haniyeh since 2017, while Al-Arouri currently holds the position of deputy Head of the Hamas political bureau.

The history of Saleh al-Arouri

Al-Arouri is a former prisoner who spent about 18 years in Israeli prisons between 1992 and 2010.

Upon his release in 2010, Saleh al-Arouri was deported to Syria, where he resided for years before leaving for Turkey during the Syrian revolution, while he is currently settling in Lebanon.

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Al-Arouri has been a member of the movement’s political bureau since 2010, and he joined the movement at the beginning of its founding in 1987. He was born in the village of Aroura, near Ramallah, in 1966, and studied Islamic law at Hebron University.

Al-Arouri is one of the contributors to the establishment of the military wing of Hamas in the West Bank (Al-Qassam Brigades).

His role also emerged as one of the members of the negotiating team to complete the prisoner exchange deal with the Israeli soldier “Shalit” in 2011.

Hamas holds its internal elections every four years, in circumstances surrounded by secrecy; Due to considerations related to the security pursuit by Israel.

The movement started its current internal elections, on February 18, 2021.

Last March, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) announced the end of its internal elections for the Gaza Strip.

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This came in a statement by the movement after the movement’s Shura Council for the Gaza region held a meeting within the framework of completing the electoral process.

The statement indicated that the Shura Council elected the members of the movement’s political bureau in the Gaza Strip (16), members of the administrative body, and heads of the supervisory committees emanating from the Shura Council.

He added that the leader Khalil al-Haya was chosen as Sinwar’s deputy, while a single woman, Jamila al-Shanti, was a member of the political bureau for the first time.

Hamas explained that the head of the women’s movement, Fatima Sharab, also became a member of the Political Bureau, by virtue of her position.

Adnan Abu Amer, a professor of politics and media at the Islamic University of Gaza, said that the arrival of two women to the movement’s political office means that Hamas wanted to “give a positive signal to the international and regional community by changing the stereotype, and confirming that it is an open movement.”

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The movement’s statement referred to the selection of Osama Al-Muzaini as Chairman of the Shura Council of the Gaza Strip, and Maher Sabra as assistant to the Chairman of the Movement’s Administrative Board.

Historic leaders

Among the elected members are a number of prominent and historical leaders of the movement, including Nizar Awadallah, Mahmoud al-Zahar, Khalil al-Haya, Rawhi Mushtaha, and Fathi Hammad.

The recent elections also produced new faces in the membership of the Political Bureau, such as Ghazi Hamad and Issam al-Dalis.

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