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Friday, June 10, 2011

Hamas co-founder dies

From AP:
A founder of Hamas in the Gaza Strip died Friday of a stroke after decades as an influential yet little-known figure at the helm of the Palestinian militant organization. He was 76.

Muhammad Hassan Shama, revered by Hamas loyalists but nearly anonymous outside Gaza, was one of the eight founders of the Islamist group in the 1980s. After his death, Hamas publicly announced Friday for the first time that Shama had been the leader of the secretive Shura Council, its top governing body.

The identity of the council's members is a closely guarded secret because of fears they could be targeted by Israel. The founder and first leader of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, was killed by an Israeli airstrike in 2004.
In Shamaa's biography at the Palestine Times website, we learn that he was also a founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza in the 1950s and re-organized it in 1967 together with Sheikh Yassin, another former Hamas leader.

He also was a member of the Board of trustees at a number of schools and the Islamic University in Gaza.

And for 41 year he worked for....UNRWA.