Hamas chief Meshal to step down


JERUSALEM — Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal will soon step down from his position, a Hamas official said.

Meshal, who assumed his position in 1996 and has run Hamas from his headquarters in Damascus since 1997 following an Israeli assassination attempt, must step down at the end of his term in office, since he is limited to the two terms he has already served, an unnamed senior Hamas official told the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.

Meshal’s deputy, Mousa Abu Marzouq, is expected to succeed him.

The official also told Ma’an that discussions over implementing a Hamas –Fatah reconciliation agreement are not moving forward due to low confidence between the two factions. He also said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Fatah Party, is “distracted” by the current peace talks with Israel.