After a three-week period of internal elections, Hamas on Sunday announced the new members of its political bureau, which is the organization's highest decision-making body. The 15-member political bureau will for the first time have a female member, Jamila Alshanti, of Gaza.
Alshanti who has a bachelor's degree in English from Ain Shams University in Egypt, and master’s and doctorate degrees in pedagogy from Gaza's Islamic University, is one of the top targets on Israel's hit list after leading, in 2006, a successful women's march to break the Israeli siege imposed on a group of Palestinian activists in Umm Al-Nasr Mosque in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun.
She told The Media Line: "Since the beginning, I have been working in the Hamas movement as a leader, then, I became a member of the Islamic National Salvation Party, formed [by Hamas] with the coming of the Palestinian Authority. In the 2006 legislative election, I was on the Change and Reform list [the Hamas-affiliated winning list], and during that I went through the experience of [leading] the Ministry of Women Affairs."
According to a statement released on Sunday by the media bureau of the Women’s Movement in Hamas, the election of Alshanti “crowns the civilized thought of the movement."