Halima Yassin, the widow of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, died on Tuesday evening in Gaza, one of her sons has announced. The 76-year-old had been suffering from several illnesses, and when her condition deteriorated she was rushed to Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, but was pronounced dead just minutes after being admitted.
She was a relative of the quadriplegic Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, whom Halima married in 1968. Together they had three sons and eight daughters.
In 1987, along with a number of other Muslim Brotherhood members, Sheikh Ahmed founded the Islamic Resistance Movement, known by its Arabic acronym Hamas. He was detained by Israel several times over the years, and was released for the final time in 1998.
On 22 March 2004, the veteran leader was assassinated on the orders of the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. A missile hit him in his wheelchair as he left his local mosque after the dawn prayers. His bodyguards and nine others were killed in the same attack, which was condemned widely.