Middle east

Hamas is looking for an alternative to Sinwar… Is this the first candidate?

Amid escalating tensions between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza, and threats of a ground operation in Rafah, Israeli reports suggest that Hamas intends to appoint a replacement for its leader in the sector, Yahya Sinwar, in the event that Israel succeeds in eliminating him.

Sinwar, who assumed the leadership of Hamas in Gaza in 2017, is Israel’s top target due to his leadership role in the movement’s military wing and his firm stance on negotiations with Israel and reconciliation with Fatah.

Informed sources reveal that the name being circulated as a possible successor to Sinwar is Rouhi Mushtaha, a member of Hamas leadership in Gaza and the person closest to Sinwar. Mushtaha, 58, belongs to the middle leadership generation of Hamas, is a civil engineer, and one of the founders of the movement’s military wing, having participated in resistance operations against Israeli occupation.

Mushtaha has been arrested several times by Israeli authorities and spent around 20 years in Israeli prisons before being released in a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas in 2011, which included Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

considered one of the influential leaders in Hamas, with extensive relations with other Palestinian factions, Arab and Islamic countries, and he serves as the head of foreign relations for Hamas in Gaza.

It is worth noting that Mushtaha was among the candidates to succeed Sinwar in the internal elections of Hamas held last February but withdrew from the race and endorsed Sinwar, who won a second term.

Sinwar faces significant challenges in leading Hamas in Gaza amid Israeli blockade, humanitarian and economic crises, Palestinian division, and regional and international changes.

 also faces internal challenges from some leaders in Hamas who criticize his policies and decisions, accusing him of involving Gaza in a war whose consequences were not well calculated.

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