Yahia Sinwar, a founding member of the Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigade, the military wing of Hamas, was the only high-ranking official among the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners exchanged on October 18 for detained Israeli solider Gilad Shalit.
After 25 years in the Israeli prison system, Sinwar received a hero's welcome in Gaza upon his release.
The prisoner swap has elevated the standing of the Al-Qassam Brigade fighters and, with it, leaders like Sinwar.
He pledged to once again join the fight for Palestinian statehood should the situation call for it.
Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston reports from Gaza.