Meshaal Declares He will Step Down as Hamas Chief Next Year

Hamas political chief, Khaled Meshaal, has said he will not run for re-election as the head of the Palestinian group next year.

“Khaled Meshaal will be the former head of Hamas’ political bureau next year,” he said during a speech in the Qatari capital Doha on Saturday.

Originally based in Jordan, Meshaal relocated to Syria in 1999. He moved from the war-torn country in 2012, and has lived in Qatar for the past four years.

Media reports earlier said that Hamas deputy leader, Ismail Haniyeh, plans to vie for the presidency of Hamas political bureau in upcoming internal polls to succeed Meshaal.

“Hamas’ internal elections will be held next year and a new head of its political bureau will be elected,” Meshaal said. Meshaal also said that Hamas has made a mistake by ruling the Gaza Strip by itself.

“We were mistaken when we thought that the era of [Palestinian group] Fatah has gone and that Hamas’ time has come,” he said.

He added, “Fatah has also made a mistake when it tried to marginalize us.”

Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after infighting between itself and Fatah.

Meshaal went on to say, “Hamas is a resistance group and needs every piece of weaponry. However, it still sides with its nation and does not abandon its position even if the group is denied weapons,” he said.


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