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Hamas co-founder dies in Gaza Strip

Mohammed Taha, arrested by Israel in 2003 and then freed, dies of heart complications at age 77

Hamas supporters at a demonstration in the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 (photo credit: AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)
Hamas supporters at a demonstration in the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 (photo credit: AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

Mohammed Taha, one of the founding members of the Hamas movement, died overnight Tuesday, medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported.

Taha, 77, died at a hospital in Deir al-Balah after suffering heart complications at his home in the Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, reports said. His cause of death was not immediately clear.

A Twitter account affiliated with Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, confirmed Taha’s death, saying the group’s 77-year-old founder died after a “long illness.”

Taha was born in 1937 in the British Mandate Palestine village of Yibna, and founded the Hamas movement in 1987 with the Islamist group’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

Taha was injured and arrested by Israel in 2003. He was released in 2004 after being held without trial.

He had five sons, all of whom were senior Hamas officials.

https://twitter.com/qassam_arabic1/status/532438623296421888

Taha’s son, Ayman, was a spokesperson and leading figure in the Islamist terror group ruling the Gaza Strip, but was arrested by Hamas on suspicion of misconduct, illegal profiteering, and breach of trust in February of this year.

Ayman Taha was reported killed in the Gaza Strip during last summer’s conflict with Israel, but conflicting reports stated he was either killed during an Israeli airstrike or executed by a Hamas firing squad.

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