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Hamas Elects Former Chief Meshaal to Head Diaspora Office

Hamas Elects Former Chief Meshaal to Head Diaspora Office

Monday, 12 April, 2021 - 18:15
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal gestures as he announces a new policy document in Doha, Qatar, May 1, 2017. (Reuters)

Former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal was elected to be head of the Palestinian group’s office in the diaspora, a spokesman said on Monday.


Meshaal, 64, who survived an Israeli assassination attempt in 1997, was head of the political bureau until 2017 when he was replaced by Ismail Haniyeh, 59, who is based in Gaza.


Akram Atallah, a Palestinian analyst, said the move was not likely to cause a significant shift in Hamas’s position as Meshaal was broadly aligned with Haniyeh, both in terms of their more pragmatic approach to Arab and Western countries, and in their attitudes to the Mideast conflict.


“When it comes to Hamas’s policy towards Israel, I don’t see hardliners and moderates. I believe there is an agreement over that,” Atallah said.


Hamas opposed Palestinian-Israeli peace accords signed in the 1990s and is regarded as a terrorist organization by Israel and the West. Hamas leaders say their fight against Israel is “legitimate resistance.”


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