The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Tuesday that Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal plans to seek the chairmanship of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the near future.
The paper quoted "top Palestinian sources" as saying that the future bid is the reason that Mashaal decided not to seek another term as Hamas chief.
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According to the report, Qatar and Jordan are facilitating the bid, with aim of including as many Palestinian factions as possible in the PLO, ahead of the possible resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Fatah, lead by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, believes that it will continue to enjoy the support of the Palestinian factions that have been affiliated with it so far, but according to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, many of the Palestinian factions may actually welcome the potential internal reshuffling of the PLO.
A Palestinian source told Ynet that Emir of Qata Sheikh Hamad bin-Khalifa al-Thani has spoken to Abbas and reportedly expressed his desire to see Mashaal named his successor – should Abbas insist, as he has been for the past two years, not to seek another term as chairman of the Palestinian Authority.
Mashaal announced he would be stepping down in mid 2012. Hamas has yet to announce who will take over the position, but only Deputy Hamas Politburo Chief Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh are in the running. The former is considered the favorite for the role.
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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