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Hamas chief wraps up 4-day visit to Gaza

English.news.cn   2012-12-11 03:35:49            

GAZA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The politburo chief of Islamic Hamas movement Khaled Meshaal on Monday concluded a four-day visit to the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave which Hamas has been controlling since 2007.

Meshaal, along with two members of Hamas' politburo, left Gaza though Rafah border crossing on Monday. Meshaal's deputy Musa Abu Marzooq, however, decided to stay with relatives in his hometown Rafah in southern Gaza Strip for several days.

Meshaal, the prominent pragmatic leader of Hamas, made his first ever visit to Gaza, where he attended the central rally that marked the 25-year anniversary for Hamas on Saturday, held a series of meetings and visited the homes of Hamas leaders assassinated by Israel.

During the visit, Meshaal debated Hamas' upcoming strategy with other senior leaders, in the light of the eight-day conflict between Israel and Gaza militants in November.

An official source in Hamas, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that the visit of Meshaal "unified Hamas movement in terms of strategies and harmony within its leadership. "

"Meshaal... as the top leader of the movement succeeded to earn the largest ever support for the movement, mainly when he focused on internal Palestinian reconciliation," said the source.

Thousands of supporters for Hamas celebrated four consecutive days since Meshaal's arrival on Friday.

The source said the issue of deciding who is the next politburo chief of Hamas wasn't finalized, but so far Meshaal earned more support than any other leader.

"As he still enjoys a powerful political charisma, there is a possibility of renewing his term as the head of the movement for another four years, because no one would be able to compete with Meshaal if any internal Hamas elections are held," said the source.

Meshaal was received not only as a leader with political charisma, but also as a "hero," the source said, adding that "this had made him remain the strongest candidate with an overwhelming majority."

During Meshaal's four-day visit, Ismail Haneya, head of Hamas government, introduced Meshaal to the public and to the supporters as "the leader of Hamas movement," while this title was given to late leaders like Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdul Aziz Rantisi.

On the other hand, Meshaal has been calling Haneya as "the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip." Observers in Hamas said when Meshaal and Haneya describe each other to their supporters using such titles, it means that "there is a certain arrangement between the two men until the internal elections are held."

"We believe that Meshaal is very serious on achieving a real reconciliation between Hamas and its Fatah rival," said the source. "But a real reconciliation on the ground still needs a lot of work by both sides."

Editor: Wang Yuanyuan
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