The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement (PIJ) elected Ziad Al-Nakhleh as the new Secretary-General of the movement inside Palestine and abroad, replacing the former secretary Ramadan Shalah whose health situation has triggered concern.
The movement has also elected new members of its Political Bureau, and the details of the elections will be revealed during a press conference in the upcoming hours, according to Al-Khaleej Online website.
Shalah underwent heart surgery at “Al-Rassoul Al-Azam” Hospital in the southern suburb of Beirut in April.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad then explained that Shalah’s health condition is stable, and revealed that he is subject to close surveillance.
Unconfirmed reports pointed out some suspicions which indicated that he was poisoned by Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad.
Al-Nakhleh was born in Gaza Strip in 1951. He began his political career in the Islamic Jihad in 1982, along with its late founder Fathi Shaqaqi, and played an essential role in forming the military wing of the movement, known as Al-Quds Brigades.
In 1986, the Israelis exiled Al-Nakhleh to southern Lebanon, and he remained there until 1994 when he moved to settle in Beirut.
In 1997, he was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the Jihad Movement, after the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, assassinated the founder of the movement, Shaqaqi, in Malta.