The challenge for the moderate candidate in Hamas’ upcoming elections is stark enough without Israel putting its finger on the scale on behalf of the pro-violence, pro-Tehran hardliners
Khaled Meshal is the Hamas political leader, and the militant group's highest-ranking official. He has been living in exile in Damascus since 2001.
Meshal was born in the West Bank in 1956, but has lived most of his life outside of the Palestinian territories. In 1967, Meshal's family moved to Kuwait, where his father served as an imam. At 15, Meshal joined the Muslim Brotherhood. A few years later, while studying physics at Kuwait University, he founded the student group List of the Islamic Right.
Meshal has also lived in Qatar and then Jordan, where he reportedly served as the Hamas branch chief. In 1997, two Mossad agents were arrested after a failed assassination attempt of Meshal outside of his office in Amman. Meshal was left in critical condition after the agents allegedly dosed him with a poisonous toxin.
Benjamin Netanyahu, who was prime minister at the time, was forced to provide Jordan's King Hussein with an antidote to save Meshal's life, as well as free Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin from Israeli prison, in return for the release of the two Mossad agents.
Meshal became head of Hamas following Yassin's assassination by Israel in 2004. After Hamas won a surprise electoral victory in the Palestinian territories in January 2006, Meshal spoke of the need to work “realistically” with Israel, expressing readiness to sign a long-term cease-fire agreement with the Jewish state. He has, however, has also been steadfast in his refusal to officially recognize Israel.
In May 2009, Meshal was reelected by Hamas members to lead the group's politburo for another more years. However, reports have emerged recently that there is a division within Hamas, triggered by Meshal's hardline approach to rival Palestinian faction Fatah and his rigid stance on a prisoner swap for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held in Hamas-ruled Gaza since 2006.
'The righteous are stronger than the unrighteous,' Meshal says, blasting Arab states that have chosen to side with the U.S.
Move comes after Hamas published new charter, considered more moderate, accepting 1967 borders for future Palestinian state
Hamas leader says Trump has a better chance than predecessors to change the status quo
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Hamas leader acknowledges some of the attempts at a deal have leaked to the media but says Israel refuses to release prisoners who were rearrested after being released in the Shalit deal
Palestinians have been split into two political entities since 2007, when following an election Fatah remained in control in the West Bank and Hamas seized control of Gaza.
Why did the organization kill one of its own military officers in February? That’s something both Gazans and the organization’s political wing would like to know.
Meeting comes at backdrop of Israeli-Turkish efforts to resolve the crisis sparked by the Gaza flotilla raid in 2010.
In a speech, the Hamas leader, who lives in Qatar, sounded as if he had just taken part in protests on the brink of a third intifada.
The community juxtaposes Hamas’ hard line with the ANC’s support for a two-state solution.
Chief of Hamas political bureau tells Qatari newspaper that agreement not yet formulated, but that Tony Blair and others have raised proposals; statements contradict Netanyahu's sweeping denial of talks' existence.
Lavrov and Meshal discuss reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah; Palestinians see Russia as pivot in efforts to internationalize conflict.
While Gazans experience insufferable economic distress, Hamas is losing its status in the Arab world.
Despite Hamas' denial of report, Israel quick to praise Qatari government's decision.
Calls for greater co-operation in 'fight to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem,' after introduction by Turkish PM at governing party's annual event.
Hamas political leader warns that failure to deal with the root causes of the violence could lead 'to an open conflict - a bloodbath.'
According to Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, head of Hamas’ political wing demanded inclusion in all Palestinian policy decisions.
Shurat HaDin Law Center says because Khaled Meshal is Jordanian, he can be tried over the executions of Palestinians without trial during the fighting between Israel and militants in Gaza.
The discord between Hamas and Fatah and the dependence on outsiders are eroding the Palestinians’ chances for achieving their national goals.
Protocol from meeting quotes Palestinian president's message to Israeli official in August; during meeting, Abbas reportedly accused Hamas' Khaled Meshal of breaching reconciliation and orchestrating coup.
Gaza movement's political leader warns it still has attack tunnels and rockets; says Mohammed Deif, whom Israel tried to assassinate, is 'fine.'
If neither Israel nor Hamas gets what it wants out of next month’s negotiations, will the fighting resume? And why did it take Khaled Meshal so long to agree to the Egyptian proposal? Military analyst Amos Harel explains.
Gideon Levy finds it impossible not to wonder: How did one journalist – and not the country's most widely read or most widely distributed – become an object of such rage and hatred?
Hamas is leery about resuming cease-fire negotiations, hoping to ensure permission for a port and an airport. Then eyes will turn to the ICC.
Political leader Khaled Meshal says he wasn't aware of West Bank kidnapping ahead of time, but notes Hamas views settlers as aggressors.
German development aid minister accuses Qatar of aiding Islamic State.
Surviving Israel's latest attempt on his life, will only serve to reinforce the myth surrounding Mohammed Deif, a serial assassination-attempt-survivor.
Kerry isn’t anti-Israeli; on the contrary, he's a true friend to Israel. But his conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events.