Ismail Haniyeh: Age, Wife, Children, Net worth, and Career

Ismail Haniyeh
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh

Ismail Haniyeh is a prominent senior Palestine political leader. Haniyeh currently serves as the leader of Hamas’s Political Bureau. Additionally, following Hamas’s victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections, he was appointed Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority.

Ismail Haniyeh advocates bridging the gap between armed opposition to Israel and a more diplomatic approach within Hamas. He currently lives in voluntary exile, splitting between Qatar and Turkey.

Summary about Ismail Haniyeh’s biography

  • Full name: Ismail Abdel Salam Ahmed Haniyeh
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of birth: 29 January 1962
  • Age: 61 years old (as of 2023)
  • Place of birth: Shati refugee camp, Gaza strip, Palestine
  • Current residence: Qatar
  • Nationality: Palestinian
  • Ethnicity: Mixed
  • Religion: Islamic
  • Sexuality: Straight

Physical statistics

  • Hair colour: Black
  • Eye colour: Dark brown

Relationship and family

  • Siblings: Four
  • Relationship status: Married
  • Spouse: Amal Haniyeh
  • Children: 13

Education, career and net worth

  • Education: The Islamic University of Gaza
  • Profession: Politician
  • Net worth: $5 million

Ismail Haniyeh’s biography

The prominent politician was born to Arabic-Palestinian parents on 29 January 1962 in the Al-Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. His father was a fisherman. His family fled their homes in Ashkelon, Israel, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Ismail grew up alongside four siblings, Kholidia, Laila, Sabah, and Suhila Abd El-Salam Ahmed. Kholidia, Laila and Sabah are Israeli citizens and reside in the Bedouin town of Tel as-Sabi in southern.

Laila and Sabah are widowed. However, they remain in Tel as-Sabi in order to retain their Israeli citizenship. Suhila Abd El-Salam Ahmed lives in Gaza.

Ismail Haniyeh education

Ismail Haniyeh

Haniyeh acquired his education at institutions administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).  He later moved to the Islamic University of Gaza, where he graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in Arabic literature. This was about the same time the First Intifada against the Israeli occupation began in the Gaza Strip.

Ismail later pursued a master’s degree in community development at the same university. While at the institution, he was the head of the students’ council, representing the Muslim Brotherhood.


Ismail Haniyeh’s political career is closely associated with Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist organisation founded in 1987 during the First Intifada (Palestinian uprising). Haniyeh became involved with Hamas while at university.

He played a significant role in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, where Hamas won most seats, leading to his appointment as the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority in March 2006.

However, this caused a political crisis, as Hamas was considered a terrorist organisation by many Western countries, including the United States and the European Union.

In June 2007, after a brief period of Palestinian factional violence, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip, while Fatah, a rival Palestinian faction, retained control of the West Bank.

Even though the State of Palestine president, Mahmoud Abbas, dismissed Ismail Haniyeh from office, Haniyeh did not acknowledge the decree and went on to  exercised prime ministerial authority in the Gaza Strip. Haniyeh was elected as Hamas political chief on 6 May 2017.

Ismail Haniyeh detention

In 1988, he was given a short prison sentence by an Israeli military court after taking part in protests in the First Intifada. Israel again detained him the same year and imprisoned him for six months. The following year, he was imprisoned again for three years.

After his release in 1992, the Israeli military authorities deported him to Lebanon alongside senior Hamas leaders Abdel-Aziz, Aziz Duwaik, and  Mahmoud Zahhar. After one year, he returned to Gaza and was appointed as dean of the Islamic University.

Ismail Haniyeh’s net worth

Haniyeh’s net worth is estimated to be $5 million. Besides being a politician, he earns his income from the 20% tax charged on all items entering through tunnels from Egypt to the Gaza Strip.

Is Ismail Haniyeh married?

Haniyeh is married to Amal Haniyeh.  They have thirteen kids, namely Abed Al-Salam, Khawleh, Moath, Sarah, Sana’a, Hammam, Bothayna, Hazem, A’ayed, Amir, Wisam, Latife, and Mohammad Haniyeh.

What happened to Ismail Haniyeh’s son?

Ismail’s eldest son, Abdel Salam, was apprehended by Egyptian officials at the Rafah Border Crossing while possessing several million dollars. Abdel had the intention of bringing this money into Gaza.

Frequently asked questions about Ismail Haniyeh

Who is Ismail Haniyeh?

Ismail Haniyeh is a prominent leader of Hamas’ Political Bureau and has previously held the position of Palestinian Prime Minister.

Is Ismail Haniyeh Shia or Sunni?

Ismail is of shia Muslim group.

What is Ismail Haniyeh’s religion?

Haniyeh’s religion is Islam.

Why is Ismail Haniyeh famous?

Ismail Haniyeh is prominent for being the leader of Hamas leader.

What is Ismail Haniyeh’s age?

Ismail Haniyeh is 61 years old as of 2023. He was born on 29 January 1962.

Is Ismail Haniyeh married?

He is married to Amal Haniyeh and the couple has 13 children.

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