Conflicts & War

First woman in Hamas political bureau dies in Israeli airstrike

Rafa, Gaza, Oct 19 (EFE).- Jamila al-Shanti, the first woman to serve in the political bureau of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, has been killed in an Israeli airstrike, the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) said on Thursday.

Jamila al-Shanti, the widow of Hamas co-founder Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, held the distinction of being the first woman elected to the group’s political bureau.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the PLC commended al-Shanti for her unwavering dedication to the Palestinian cause and her significant contributions to parliamentary, academic, political, defense, and educational efforts.

Born in 1957 in the Jabalia refugee camp within the Gaza Strip, al-Shanti was not only a member of the PLC but also a prominent figure within Hamas. She assumed her position in the group’s political office in 2021.

With a background in English language studies, al-Shanti played an active role in the group’s women’s movement in Gaza and even founded the Hamas women’s wing.

For the past nealy two weeks, Israeli airstrikes in war-torn Gaza have claimed the lives of several high-ranking Hamas commanders, including Ayman Nofal, a member of the higher military council of al-Qassam Brigades.

The Israeli military has carried out daily airstrikes in the beleaguered Palestinian enclave, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives, predominantly civilians.

The airstrikes commenced following a multi-pronged attack on Israel by hundreds of Hamas militants on Oct. 7, leading to the deaths of some 1,400 Israelis, according to the Israeli army.

The Islamist group also took at least 100 people, including children, hostage in Gaza.

Since then, the military has killed nearly 3,500 Palestinians, including 850 children, and injured more than 12,000, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.

On Thursday, the Israeli military allegedly killed three Palestinians, including two teenagers, in the occupied West Bank amid a spike in violence in the region.

“Three citizens died today at dawn due to bullets from the Israeli occupation,” said the Palestinian health ministry, identifying the victims as Taha Mahamid, 16, Ahmed Munir Saduq, 17, and Ibrahim Jibril Ahmed. Awad, 32.

The latest fatalities have brought the total Palestinian death toll in the West Bank to 67 in the past 13 days, with five of those killings blamed on ultra-Zionist Israeli settlers.

Israeli forces have been carrying out raids in the West Bank for several days to arrest suspected Hamas sympathizers.

Over 500 suspects have already been detained, with Israeli forces employing live ammunition, tear gas canisters, and sound grenades to quell the rising unrest in the region. EFE


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