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Mahmoud al-Zahar is a co-founder of Hamas and a member of the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip. Since the formation of the Hamas/"Change and Reform" government in the Palestinian National Authority in March 2006, al-Zahar has served as foreign minister in the government of prime minister Ismail Haniyeh. Prior to that he was seen as a major candidate among the Hamas members elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council for prime minister, as he was at that time the most senior official within the organization. al-Zahar's son, a member of the Hamas military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, was killed in an Israeli raid in Gaza on 5 January 2008. (via Freebase)