Ismail Haniyeh has been elected to a second term as head of Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, two Palestinian officials said Sunday.
"Brother Ismail Haniyeh was re-elected as the head of the movement's political office for a second time," one official told Reuters.
He was selected for his second four-year term by Hamas's Shura Council, which is the group's supreme decision-making body.
Haniyeh, the group's leader since 2017, has controlled its political activities throughout several armed confrontations with Israel - including a brutal 11-day conflict in May.
He was the right-hand man to Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in Gaza, before the wheelchair-bound cleric was assassinated by Israel in Gaza in 2004.
Haniyeh, 58, led Hamas' entry into politics in 2006, when they were surprise victors in Palestinian parliamentary elections, defeating a divided Fatah party led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Haniyeh became prime minister shortly after the January 2006 victory, but Hamas - which is deemed a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel and the European Union - was shunned by the international community.
Hamas seized power in Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007 following a bloody internecine battle. Israel and Egypt have blockaded Gaza following the coup, citing threats from Hamas.
Since leaving the impoverished Gaza Strip alongside some other Hamas leaders, Haniyeh has been living in luxury as he splits his time between Qatar and Turkey.
Haniyeh has several known connections to top officials around the Arab world, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Lebanese President Michel Aoun, as well as ties to terror group Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah.
The Hamas leader met with Nasrallah most recently during the May conflict to coordinate a response against Israel.