Tag Archives: Khaled Mashaal

Analysis: Hamas wants bigger regional role

Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal has set an ambitious agenda for his new term, seeking to transform his Islamic militant movement that rules Gaza into a widely recognized political force, but without making concessions toward Israel needed for international acceptance.

Re-elected last week, Mashaal will try to deepen ties with regional powers Qatar, Turkey and Egypt, which have already given money or political support to Hamas-run Gaza and could be conduits to the U.S. and Europe, several leading Hamas figures said. Mashaal will also push for a power-sharing deal with his Western-backed Palestinian rival, President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas ideology, rejecting existence of a Jewish state in an Islamic Middle East, stands in the way. The international community insists it will deal with Hamas only if the Islamic militants recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept previous interim peace deals — conditions Mashaal has repeatedly rejected, though Abbas and his Fatah movement accepted them two decades ago.

Mashaal “wants Hamas to be a recognized and legitimate player,” said Jordan-based analyst Mouin Rabbani, who frequently meets with Palestinian politicians, including Hamas members.

“The challenge and conflict is that he has to demonstrate he can do so without going down the same path as Fatah,” he said. Fatah, for years the dominant force in Palestinian politics, has been severely weakened by years of failed talks with Israel on terms of a Palestinian state.

Key to Mashaal’s plans is a political deal with Abbas, as a possible springboard for joining and eventually taking control of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the umbrella group widely recognized as representing some 11.6 million Palestinians world-wide, according to official Palestinian figures. The Fatah-dominated PLO is largely inactive now, but it remains attractive to Hamas as a way of gaining international status.

A Hamas deal with Abbas would have to wait until the latest U.S. push to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations plays itself out.

Setting up a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem through negotiations with Israel remains Abbas’ goal.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in the region this week to try to restart talks between Israel and Abbas. Chances of that in coming months appear slim because gaps remain wide between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Abbas won’t complicate Kerry’s mission further by renewing talks now

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Hamas says it's not meddling in Egyptian affairs

The leader of the Palestinian group Hamas says there is broad cooperation between his group and Egypt‘s security government, dismissing reports that Hamas is endangering Egypt‘s national security.

Khaled Mashaal‘s comments in a conference Thursday in Cairo follow unconfirmed Egyptian media reports linking Hamas to increased lawlessness in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders the Gaza Strip ruled by Hamas.

The reports accused Hamas of orchestrating one of the bloodiest attacks against Egypt‘s army in decades. In August 2012, 16 soldiers were killed along the Gaza-Egypt border. Hamas has strongly denied that it was involved.

Mashaal called the accusations “defamations,” and said it is Hamas’ duty to protect Egypt‘s security.

Hamas leaders were in Cairo this week to meet with security, intelligence and military officials.

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Gaza premier elected as No. 2 in Hamas leadership

Hamas says it has elected Gaza’s prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, as the deputy leader of the Islamic militant group.

Senior Hamas figures this week re-elected longtime leader Khaled Mashaal to another four-year term. On Wednesday, the group announced it had elected Haniyeh, 50, as Mashaal’s deputy.

Hamas, founded in Gaza in 1987, also has branches in the West Bank and outside the Palestinian territories.

Haniyeh’s election signals a shift in the group’s center of gravity toward Gaza, the territory the group has ruled since a violent takeover in 2007. Traditionally, top Hamas leaders have been exiles. Haniyeh is the first Gazan to rise to the No. 2 spot.

Last year, Hamas hard-liners in Gaza balked at Mashaal’s attempt to reconcile with his political rival, West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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Hamas confirms leader Khaled Mashaal's re-election

Palestinian militant group Hamas has confirmed the re-election of longtime leader Khaled Mashaal in a vote held in Cairo.

In a statement Tuesday, the group said the election came after voting by leaders from Gaza, in the West Bank, in exile and those in Israeli jails.

Mashaal, 56, led the group since 1996. He is a relative pragmatist who enjoys the backing of regional powers Turkey, Egypt and Qatar. He is expected to tackle the stalled reconciliation with West Bank leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas wrested Gaza from Abbas in 2007. Since then, the rivals have established separate governments in the West Bank and Gaza.

Two Hamas officials said Mashaal ran unopposed in the Monday vote, winning the support of a majority in Hamas’ Shura Council which has about 60 members.

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Hamas re-elects Mashaal as its leader

Two Hamas officials say the Islamic militant group has re-elected Khaled Mashaal as its leader.

Mashaal, 56, who has run the Palestinian movement since 1996 from exile, was seen as a favorite.

He is backed by regional powers Qatar, Turkey and Egypt. He is now based in Qatar.

His re-election could revive stalled reconciliation efforts between Hamas and political rival Mahmoud Abbas, the Western-backed Palestinian president.

The officials said the majority of the group’s Shura council members voted for Mashaal. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the secret procedure.

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Hamas says it's in final round of leadership vote

Two Hamas officials say senior figures in the Palestinian militant movement have gathered in Cairo for the last stage of internal elections to determine the group’s new leader.

Khaled Mashaal, the Qatar-based chief of the Islamic movement since 1996, is the front-runner for the post.

The officials said the vote was likely to be held later Monday in Cairo. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the secret procedure.

Mashaal has pushed for reconciliation with Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but has encountered resistance from Hamas hardliners in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas seized Gaza from Abbas in 2007, leaving him in charge of only parts of the West Bank. Reconciliation between the two territories has since been elusive.

Hamas has repeatedly postponed the voting.

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Hamas Gaza ruler meets Egypt intelligence chief

Egypt‘s state news agency says the Gaza Strip’s Hamas ruler has met with Egypt‘s intelligence chief to discuss Palestinian reconciliation and the cease-fire between the militant group and Israel.

Ismail Haniyeh‘s met with Rafaat Shehata on Sunday, a day after arriving in Egypt. Egypt‘s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi mediated a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel last year.

Relations between Egypt and Hamas are high on the agenda. Hamas, a Palestinian offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood — the group from which Morsi hails — has come under attack by some in Egypt who accuse it of harboring militants that operate in Egypt‘s Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is also in Egypt, where the group is expected to choose its next leader. Mashaal is a top candidate for the post.

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Egypt president tries hand at Palestinian rivalry

Egypt‘s Islamist president has stepped into a bitter Palestinian rivalry, meeting separately with leaders of the factions.

Mohammed Morsi first talked to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday. He had a meeting set for later with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization of Hamas.

The two Palestinian groups have been at odds since Hamas overran Gaza in 2007, ousting forces from Fatah, which Abbas leads. Many efforts to end the split have failed over the years.

In a sign that the equation may be changing with the Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt, for the first time Hamas allowed thousands of Fatah backers to rally in Gaza last week.

In 2011, Mashaal and Abbas signed a reconciliation agreement, but it was not implemented.

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