Salah Shahada

Salah Shahada

Hamas leader and founding member. Born 24 Feb. 1954, Bayt Hanun, from a refugee family from Jaffa. Studied social science at Cairo Univirsity after having to refuse
 places at Russian and Turkish universities in engineering and medicine, due to inability to pay fees, joined the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) as a student in Egypt. Acted as a social worker, and jailed for 2 years from 1984. One of the 7 founders of Hamas, had initial responsibility for the creation of the ‘Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, spent a total of 12 years in prison from 1988, firstly after being convicted by an Israeli court and later (from late 1998) in administrative detention.

After his release on 14 May 2000, he headed the ‘Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and Israel reportedly considered him as having primary responsibility for Hamas attacks on settlements in the Gaza Strip, at least 3 assassination attempts upon him, and PA forces attempted (unsuccessfully) to arrest him in Jun. 2001.

His house in Bayt Hanun was partially destroyed by Israeli tanks in Dec. 2001 (and reoccupied on 12 Feb. 2002). His nephew, Bilal Shahada, was killed in an attack on Netzarim in Mar. 2002.

Killed on 22 Jul. 2002, in an Israeli missile strike on his residence in the Daraj neighbourhood of Gaza city, an attack which killed his wife, Layla, and one of his daughters Iman and 12 others.

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