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Hamas to leave Syria & Meshaal could step down

(DP-News - agencies)

DAMASCUS- In recent months, Hamas has pulled lower level officials and their families out of Syria. Hamas officials say senior members of their exiled leadership will evacuate their families from the group's headquarters in Syria.



The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing the inner workings of the secretive group.

The officials, speaking from Damascus, said Tuesday that the evacuations are in response to the deteriorating security situation in Syria, where President Bashar Assad has been resisting a 10-month uprising.





Regarding Hamas too, Khaled Meshaal, the political chief of Hamas, is to step down from his position when elections for the leadership of the Palestinian organisation take place in the next few months, British newspaper The Guardian has reported.

Meshaal will retire to allow a fresh leader to steer Hamas towards a new strategy, Mustafa Lidawi, a former representative of Hamas in Lebanon, wrote in an article on an Arab website.



Meshaal has been head of Hamas’ political bureau since 1996 and has been based in Damascus since the following year.

In recent weeks, he has indicated that Hamas should make a strategic turn away from armed struggle to popular non-violent resistance in the wake of the Arab spring revolutions and the success of Islamist parties in elections.

However, his reported decision to step down may indicate that the Hamas leadership within Gaza has won a power struggle.



A Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip described reports as “speculation”. “For anything like this to be true, there would have to be a formal announcement by either the movement or Meshaal himself,” he told The National.

The Hamas leader was also looking for a new base for the organisation amid the ongoing revolt in Syria. Hamas had refused to back the regime of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, infuriating the Iranian government, which had sponsored both it and the Syrian leadership.



The exiled leadership of Hamas now appears to be fragmenting geographically. Meshaal’s family has reportedly moved to Amman, and his deputy, Mousa Abu Marzouk, has relocated to Cairo. The military operations leader, Emad al Alami, has moved his family to Gaza, it has been reported. Many other officials have also left Damascus, ostensibly to move their families to safety.

“It appears that Hamas leaders no longer feel comfortable in Syria, mainly due to security concerns, and therefore are moving their families to other Arab countries,” a source close to Abu Marzouk told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper on Tuesday.

Abu Marzouk is expected to be in contention to succeed Meshaal, although Ismail Haniyeh, the de facto prime minister of Gaza, could also stand for the political leadership.

Visitors Comments          Number of Comments (1)
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Rats leaving a sinking ship
Sons of Assad            1/18/2012 10:01:05 PM
O Traitors of the so called Resistance.
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