´Hamas´ Khaled Mashaal may run for head of Palestinian Authority´ (ISRAEL HAYOM) Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff 03/29/12)
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Senior official in Ramallah tell Israel Hayom that if Hamas leader
Khaled Mashaal does not seek re-election as Hamas’ political bureau
chief, “there is a good chance” he will try to compete with PA
President Mahmoud Abbas for leadership of the Authority • Abbas says
reconciliation talks between his Fatah party and Hamas have broken
Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal may run for head of the
Palestinian Authority in the next elections, a senior official in
Ramallah told Israel Hayom on Wednesday.
“If Khaled Mashaal decides not to seek re-election as head of Hamas’
political bureau, there is a good chance that he will try to compete
with [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas for the
leadership of the Palestinian Authority,” the official told Israel
Hamas announced in January that Mashaal would not seek re-election,
but the wording of the announcement left open the possibility that he
would be asked to stay on even though he has led the movement since
1996, nearly twice as long as permitted under Hamas rules.
Senior Hamas sources quoted by Palestinian media on Wednesday said
that the organization’s 55-member Shura Council, which oversees the
political bureau and authorizes key decisions, will meet in early
April to select the bureau’s new leader.
According to Palestinian reports, officials in several Arab countries
have placed heavy pressure on Mashaal to stay on for another term,
but sources close to the leader said he has refused the offer and is
likely to resign from the position.
Reports also said that a possible contender for Hamas’ leadership is
current Mashaal’s deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk, who previously served
as head of the political bureau.
Meanwhile, Abbas on Thursday said that the reconciliation talks
between his Fatah party and Hamas have broken down, the Ma’an news
The PA president said he and Mashaal had agreed “on many points”
during their meeting in Doha in February, but that some Hamas leaders
rejected the agreements.
“The ball is now in Hamas’ court,” Abbas was quoted by Ma’an as
saying, adding that Qatar “knows all the finer details.”
The two Palestinian factions signed a reconciliation agreement in
Cairo last May meant to end years of fighting which left the West
Bank and Gaza under the rule of rival governments.
Abbas said he and Mashaal agreed in Doha that the PA president would
assume the position of prime minister in the new unity government,
but Hamas leaders in Gaza rejected the arrangement.
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