Yahya Sanwar, who was released from Israeli prison as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, will replace Ismail Haniyeh as the leader of Hamas in Gaza. Sanwar was imprisoned in Israel after receiving four life sentences for the kidnapping and murder of the soldier Nachshon Wachsman in 1994.







Haniyeh (left) and Sanwar (right)

Haniyeh (left) and Sanwar (right) Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib\Flash 90

Yahya Sanwar, who was released from Israeli prison as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, has been chosen as Hamas’s new leader in Gaza.

55-year-old Sanwar has been released from Israeli prison in 2011 as part of the Shalit prisoner exchange after serving 22 years in prison. Since he returned to Gaza, Sanwar gained prestige through the Hamas military wing.







Sanwar

Sanwar Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

A senior-level defense official warned that Hamas’ military capabilities are now the same as they were before Operation Protective Edge. He warned that Hamas’s tunnels and rocket capabilities are operational.

Most of the Hamas arsenal is created in Gaza. Talks between Hamas and Egypt led to Egypt reopening the Rafah crossing, which enables Hamas to smuggle in better weaponry. Assessments claim that Hamas is not going to initiate a conflict soon but is getting ready for one.