Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Mishal still a contender for Hamas leadership – Source | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Contrary to recent reports that Khalid Mishal, head of the Hamas movement’s Political Bureau, would not nominate himself for a fifth term to the post he’s held since 1996, an informed Palestinian source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Mishal’s name is still on the table.

The source which spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity attributed this latest development to the direct involvement of Dr Muhmmad Badi, general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the current internal crisis the Hamas movement is going through, which thus far has prevented the election of members of the Political Bureau and a Mishal successor, who made public his desire not to nominate himself a year ago.

According to the source, Dr Badi personally asked Mishal to stop making statements on his determination not to run, since nobody has been nominated for the position. The Muslim Brotherhood’s general guide told Mishal that if he continues making statements on the matter, he is not only harming himself, but also the Hamas movement and the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, Dr Badi asked Mishal to leave the issue to “the decision-makers” in the movement (which is the General Shura Council) which is the highest authority and the only body authorized to submit names for the chairmanship of the bureau. The source added that Mishal has actually heeded to the advice of the guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, and neither he, nor anyone associated with him have made any statements recently.

The source also revealed that Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Than raised the issue with Hamas’s Ismail Haniya, during his visit to the Gaza Strip on 23 October, and asked him to keep Mishal.

Haniya, at the request of the general guide in Cairo, send a delegation representing him led by, Political Bureau member Nizar Awadallah (who negotiated the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit) along with other officials. The source said that officials representing the general guide met with them and told them that “Haniya is not suitable to be the head of the Political Bureau since the post is larger than him, and that [Musa] Abu-Marzuq is a point of contention. They asked them to search for new solutions.” The source said that this was the reason for the delay in selecting a new head for the bureau.

Meanwhile, Hamas’s Ahmad Yusuf believes that the movement will select a new leader by the end of this November, and thinks the person most likely to occupy this post is Abu-Marzuq who had held the position in the past and was forced to relinquish it. Yusuf described him as a leader who is qualified in light of his position as the former and first head of the Political Bureau, and in light of his international relations and the fact that he is in charge of the national file, as well as his wisdom and deep vision. He added that Abu-Marzuq is known to be the man of difficult tasks concerning the work of Hamas leadership or the Islamic movement.