The election of Yihya Sinwar as leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip inaugurates a phase in Hamas’s history in which it is likely to be closer to the ‘resistance axis’ of Iran and Hizbollah. This is already causing some panic in Israel writes the online newspaper al Raya al Youm
Placing Mr. Sinwar’s name alongside those of Mohammad Deif and Rouhi al-Mushtaha on the American terrorist list will not scare the man in our opinion. In fact, he and his comrades will probably view this as a badge of honor. The man has rarely left Gaza to any outside country; moreover, he has no monies or fortunes in American and Western banks that may be confiscated.
Sinwar’s election represents a ‘corrective movement’ that suggests that Hamas has entered a phase in which precedence will be given to ‘jihad’ over politics. Nor is it unlikely for the main features of this new phase to take clearer shape after the election of the new leadership of the Politburo and its members is completed in April.