Hamas chief Meshaal to step down


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal will soon step down from his position because of term limits, a Hamas official said.

Meshaal, who assumed his position in 1996, must leave at the end of his term because he is limited to the two terms he has already served, an unnamed senior Hamas official told the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency. He has run Hamas from his headquarters in Damascus, Syria, since 1997 following an Israeli assassination attempt.

Meshaal’s deputy, Mousa Abu Marzouq, is expected to succeed him.

The official also told Ma’an that discussions over implementing a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement are not moving forward due to low confidence between the two factions. He also said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Fatah Party, is "distracted" by the current peace talks with Israel. 

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