Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:23AM
This photo taken on October 21, 2011 shows then Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah (L) and Yahya Sinwar (R), a founder of the Ezzedine Qassam Brigades, waving as supporters celebrate the release of hundreds of prisoners following a swap with captured Israeli trooper Gilad Shalit in the southern city of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by AFP)
This photo taken on October 21, 2011 shows then Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah (L) and Yahya Sinwar (R), a founder of the Ezzedine Qassam Brigades, waving as supporters celebrate the release of hundreds of prisoners following a swap with captured Israeli trooper Gilad Shalit in the southern city of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, has named a high-ranking member of its military wing as its new leader in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas officials said on Monday that Yahya Sinwar, a senior commander of the Ezzedine Qassam Brigades, was elected to head the movement’s political office in Gaza.

He will succeed Ismail Haniya, who served as the democratically-elected prime minister of the Hamas government which took control of the coastal sliver in June 2007.

Many observers view Haniyah as the most likely successor to Khaled Meshaal, who is the Hamas political bureau chief and lives in exile in the Qatari capital city of Doha.