Secret Hamas Leader

AP/NYT: Hamas Appoints New Leader After Killing

The militant group Hamas appointed a new chief in the Gaza Strip early Sunday but refused to reveal his identity after Israel assassinated the second Hamas leader in less than a month.

Abdel Aziz Rantisi was killed in a missile strike on his car Saturday, part of its declared campaign to wipe out the Islamic militant group’s leadership ahead of a planned Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Two of Rantisi’s bodyguards were also killed.


Rantisi was killed less than a month after Israel assassinated Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin. The group’s Damascus-based leader Khaled Mashaal reportedly instructed the group to keep the name of its new Gaza leader secret.

Rantisi’s funeral procession drew tens of thousands of Palestinians Sunday. The mourners shouted “revenge, revenge” as they threw flowers and traditional candy while the stretchers were carried through the streets of Gaza City.

If they keep his name secret, how will people know when to gather for his funeral? I give him a month.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    “They won’t tell who’s their new leader? Damn. Okay, kill them all.”


  2. McGehee says:

    For Muddy’s benefit, the above refers to all members of Hamas, not “all Palestinians.” Though now I have to wonder whether he’ll admit there is such a distinction.