Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement elects new chief

By Mohammed Majid

JERUSALEM (AA) – Ziad al-Nakhala has been elected as the chief of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement to replace Ramadhan Shalah, the movement announced Friday.

"The Islamic Jihad movement elected Ziyad al-Nakhala as its secretary-general," movement spokesman Dawoud Shihab said at a press conference.

Regarding the group’s Political Bureau, Shihab said that Akram Ajuri, Mohammed Hindi, Yousef al-Hasayneh, Walid Qitati, Mohammed Hamid, Anwar Abu Taha, Abdul Aziz Al-Minawi, Nafez Azzam, and Khalid Al-Batsh had all been granted membership in the bureau.

"There are other [bureau] members in the West Bank, in the territories occupied in 1948, in Jerusalem, and inside Israeli prisons, but they will not be disclosed for security reasons," Shihab said.

"Election procedures began more than a year ago," he added.

The majority of candidates were from the younger generation, Shihab said, and "there was a prominent role for women”.

In 1995, Shalah — the group’s outgoing chief — headed the movement from Lebanese capital Beirut where he was residing.

In April, group sources revealed that the 60-year-old Shalah was being treated at a Lebanese hospital for a serious illness.

The sources did not provide any further details.

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