Khaled Meshal will step down as Hamas chief following an upcoming election to determine the group’s new political leader, a senior Hamas analyst said in an article that has been garnering much attention in the Arab media on Tuesday.
In the online article, widely quoted in the Arab press Tuesday morning, Mustafa Lidawi wrote that Meshal would be letting other Hamas leaders run for the leadership of the organization’ political bureau and steer the movement’s policy, after he retires, in the next few months.
Lidawi is a well-known and long standing member of the Hamas with strong ties to its leadership. In the past he had been the organization’s representative to Lebanon.
Hamas declined to respond.
Meshal was elected head of Hamas’s political bureau in 1997, after Dr. Mousa Abu Marzook was arrested.
Shortly after his ascent to Hamas leadership, Meshal was the target of a botched assassination attempt by agents from Israel’s Mossad espionage agency operating covertly in Jordan.