Amid the reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas, the terrorist group in Gaza named senior member Saleh al-Arouri, who up until recently directed West Bank terror attacks from Qatar, as the deputy political chief. Ever since he was expelled from Qatar due to international pressure, he has visited Lebanon and Iran.

Saleh al-Arouri

Saleh al-Arouri Photo Credit: Hamas’ Twitter account/Channel 2 News

Hamas’ official TV station reported Thursday that senior member Saleh al-Arouri has been chosen to be the deputy Hamas political chief. Al-Arouri, who previously orchestrated terror attacks against Israel, will be Ismail Haniyeh’s deputy.

Arab media outlets recently reported that al-Arouri was the head of the Hamas unit in charge of directing terror attacks in the West Bank and abroad. In addition, it was reported that he was forced to leave Qatar due to the international pressure regarding Doha’s ties to terrorist organizations. According to various reports, he visited Lebanon, Iran and even Malaysia in recent months.

The news of al-Arouri’s appointment comes amid the reconciliation process between Hamas and the Fatah. Earlier this week, for the first time in a decade, the Palestinian Authority held a cabinet meeting with Hamas leaders in Gaza.

Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, have spoken out against the reconciliation process, calling it “fake.”

The violent dispute between Hamas and Fatah peaked in 2007, about two years after Israel withdrew from Gaza, when the terrorist group took over the area and expelled all Fatah officials from the government offices. In the past decade, all attempts to reconcile between the sides have failed.