Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Mishal likely to remain Hamas leader | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat – It could only be a matter of time before Khalid Mishal retracts his decision to step down as leader of the Hamas political bureau, according to Palestinian sources affiliated with Mishal.

According to the sources, Mishal’s retraction is being called for both inside Hamas and from Arab and regional states.

Countries such as Egypt, Turkey and Qatar are pressuring for Mishal to remain as head of Hamas, and it seems that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt also favor this option.

The sources added that “the pressures being mounted for Mishal [to remain in power] are relentless”, however they denied that the matter has been resolved, explaining that “Hamas’ internal elections have stalled since the start of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, and they remain postponed”. The sources confirmed that the elections have been unable to determine the future names of the Hamas political bureau and the presidency, because they have stalled many times for reasons “outside the group’s control”.

Mishal arrived in Gaza last Friday in a visit Hamas described as historic. Mishal received a hero’s welcome and dominated the scene without a challenge even from his closest political bureau rivals, in an important indication of his position within Hamas. Mishal’s position has strengthened significantly after the latest war in Gaza, where he played a key role in the truce talks and was the focal point of meetings with officials from everywhere. The sources explained that “the recent war and the great change that has occurred in Hamas could ultimately prompt Mishal to retract his decision”.