Gaza, Asharq Al-Awsat- with Hamas officially announcing that Khalid Mishal, head of its Political Bureau, will not run again for a new term, sources in the Movement said that they expect to a large extent that his successor would be from the leaders abroad.
In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, the sources ruled out the possibility of electing Ismail Haniyah, head of the sacked government in Gaza, or any of the Movement’s leaders in the Gaza Strip for this post due to national political reasons and other considerations related to the freedom of movement that should be available to the head of the Political Bureau. The sources, which requested anonymity, added that the fact that the vast majority of the Palestinian people is outside the homeland necessitates that a leading figure from outside be the head of the Movement’s Political Bureau.
The sources pointed out that the head of the Political Bureau should have a great ability of political and diplomatic movement in a way that ensures the consolidation of the Movement’s relations with the Arab and Islamic nations, particularly in the stage after the Arab spring. They explained that there is a great importance for the presence of the head of the Political Bureau outside to be able to carry out all the contacts that ensure the financial support for the Movement.
The sources expects Dr Musa Abu-Marzuq to be elected as new head of the Political Bureau, noting that he held that post 16 years ago and was relieved of this post after he was arrested in New York on the charge of leading a terrorist movement. He was freed after a deal was concluded according to which he gave up his American nationality. Mishal assumed the post of the head of the Political Bureau since then. The sources explained that though there is no one who is more appropriate for the post than Abu-Marzuq who currently lives in Cairo, he maintains “warmer” relations with the Movement’s leaders in Gaza. The sources emphasized that thus far, no date has been set for holding the election of a new leader for the Movement, pointing out that the recent meeting held by the Political Bureau held in Cairo discussed this issue.
Hamas has officially announced that Mishal will not be nominated for the post of the head of the Political Bureau for the next session. Izzat al-Rishq, member of the Political Bureau of the Movement who is close to Mishal, said on his Facebook page two days ago that Mishal has emphasized his stand during the recent meeting of the Political Bureau, which was attended by the Movement’s leaders inside and outside in Cairo on the occasion of the approaching elections of the Movement’s leadership. Al-Rishq explained that Mishal has emphasized his keenness “to provide the chance for renewing the blood of the Movement’s leadership and to be in line with the spirit of the Arab spring.” Al-Rishq, however, said: “Brother Abu-al-Walid (Mishal) has emphasized that by the end of the current organizational term, he will leave the post without leaving the role, since he will continue the work, the effort, and the role in service of our people, our cause, and our blessed Movement and its project for liberation and return,” as he put it.
Al-Rishq pointed out that although “the leaders and figures of the Movement have called on Brother Abu-al-Walid to continue in his post, he insisted on his stand and expressed appreciation and gratitude for the Movement’s leaders and cadres who showed their deep appreciation, love, and confidence in brother Abu-al-Walid.” He added: “More than 16 years have passed since Brother Abu-al-Walid began to lead the Movement in the most difficult circumstances and in face of the strongest challenges during which the Movement made its most important achievements to the point that became the leading movement of our people and the representative of their ambitions and aspirations.” Al- Rishq pointed out that “Brother Abu-al-Walid, the living martyr, is setting an example for the leaders and officials by his unwillingness to have posts and responsibilities and his ability to leave the posts while he is on top of his success and achievements although the chance was still there for him to head the Political Bureau of the Movement for a new term.” Al-Rishq concluded his talk by saying: “Certainly, Brother Abu-al-Walid will leave a significant vacuum, and our trust in God remains that He will preserve the Movement and its resistance project.”