Nizar Awadallah, born in 1957 in Gaza City, has been a member of Hamas’s Politburo since 2009. He was previously Hamas’s leader in the Gaza Strip and helped negotiate the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011 in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners .
Awadallah was a confidant to Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin. In 1989 he was imprisoned for six years by Israel due to his membership of Hamas. His home in Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood has twice been struck by Israeli airstrikes. Awadallah was previously a member of the Engineering Trade Union.