Khaled Mashaal Named Hamas’ International Director

Khaled Mashaal. (Reuters/Naseem Zeitoon)

The Hamas terrorist organization chose former leader Khaled Mashaal to serve as its diaspora director, official Hamas media announced on Monday.

The decision means Mashaal will not run against Ismail Haniyeh for the position of political bureau chief, which Haniyeh currently holds.

Mashaal, who currently lives in Qatar, was elected in an internal election process on Monday afternoon. He will replace Maher Salah, who was elected to the position twice, in 2012 and 2017, and has served nine years in the position.

Senior Hamas official Musa Abu Marzuk was tabbed as Mashaal’s deputy.

Mashaal’s appointment comes on the heels of Hamas military leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar’s re-election last month as the group’s leader in the Gaza Strip.

Haniyeh, with no obvious challenger in sight, will likely now serve another four-year term as chief of the organization’s political bureau.

The last Hamas internal vote was conducted in 2017. Haniyeh took the top spot at the time, replacing Mashaal, who had held the post since 1996. Haniyeh had previously served as Hamas’ Gaza chief.

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