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Hamas elects former head Khaled Meshal as diaspora chief Open in fullscreen

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Hamas elects former head Khaled Meshal as diaspora chief

Khaled Meshal was once the head of Hamas [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 April, 2021

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Khaled Meshal has been elected as head of Hamas' diaspora office.
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has elected its former chief Khaled Meshal to head its diaspora office.

Hamas has held internal elections over the past two months where Meshal was elected to his new post, according to a statement by the group.

The statement added Moussa Abu Marzouk was elected as Meshaal's deputy, saying new members of the Shura Council - or the parliament of the Hamas movement - were also elected in the last two months.

Read more: As Arab countries edge towards Israel, what's next for the Palestinian national movement?

Meshal, 64, who survived an Israeli assassination attempt in Jordan in 1997, was Hamas' politburo chief until he was replaced by Ismail Haniyeh in 2017.

On 10 March, the group re-elected Yahya Sinwar as its president in the Gaza Strip - the Palestinian enclave Hamas has controlled since 2007.

This comes ahead of 22 May Palestinian legislative elections, the first vote in 15 years.

Hamas and the Fatah movement - led by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas - will be key players in the election. Fatah controls the Israeli-occupied West Bank. 

Hamas' internal elections are normally shrouded in secrecy but some members have called for greater transparency. 

The main base of Hamas is based in the besieged Gaza Strip but it has supporters and followers in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and other countries across the region.

The overall head of Hamas' political wing, Ismail Haniyeh, is currently based in Qatar. 

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