HANYA, Ismail

Ismail Haniya was born in 1963 in the refugee camp of  Shati, one of the most populated of the Gaza strip. His parents had fled the village of Joura in 1948 , in the South of what is currently Israel. Joura, which no longer exists, is also the native village of the Cheick Ahmad Yassine.
He graduated at the Islamic University of Gaza with a degree in Arabic literature in 1987, the year of Hamas foundation by Hamad Yassine. He joins the new Islamic movement, leads its student cell and militates in the first Intifada.
In December 1992, he belongs to the 415 Islamist Palestinians that the Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, deported to Southern Lebanon, in reply to the assassination of an Israeli customs guard by Hamas.
In 1996, he adopts a pragmatic policy and proposes the Hamas participation in the Palestinian Authority legislative elections. But the proposal was refused by Hamas’ Leadership in Damas. He also served as a link between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
A year later, he returns to Gaza where he is appointed Dean of the Islamic University and started establishing himself as an upward strength within Hamas. Close to Cheick Yasssine, he was appointed head of his office in 1998.
During the second Intifada, Hanya is elected to Hamas’ Political Office. His position within the party continues to strengthen thanks to his ties with Cheick Yassine and because of the assassination of a great deal of the Leadership by the Israeli Security forces.
In 2004, following the assassination by Israel of the Cheich Yassine and his successor, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Ismaïl Hanya is elected to head the Hamas list “Change and Reform”, which won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006.
On the 19th of February 2006, Hanya was nominated Prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, a position which had been held until then by Ahmed Qorei.