Hamas Political Leader To Visit Jordan For The First Time In 12 Years; Also Plans Trip To Gaza


Global media is reporting that Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal will visit Jordan on Sunday for the first time in 12 years and is also planning his first trip to Gaza. According to a report in the Oman Tribune:

GAZA CITY Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal will visit Jordan on Sunday for the first time in 12 years, and is planning a historic first trip to Gaza, officials said on Tuesday even as an Israeli court ordered the Hamas speaker of the Palestinian parliament be held in administrative detention for six months. Meshaal’s trip to Amman will be his first visit to Jordan since he was expelled from the kingdom in 1999. 
“Khaled Meshaal will visit Jordan on Sunday, along with the Crown Prince of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Tamim Al Thani,” Jordanian government spokesman Rajan Majali said. Meshaal’s visit comes after Qatari mediation, and Majali said Jordan’s King Abdullah would receive the Hamas leader and Hamad.  Later, an official in the Gaza Strip said Meshaal was also planning a trip to the coastal territory, possibly accompanied by Palestinian president and Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas. Meshaal “intends to come to Gaza and has a great desire to carry out such a visit, which could surprise us by happening very soon,” said Ahmed Yussef, an adviser to the Hamas ministry of foreign affairs in Gaza. The trip to Gaza would be a historic first for Meshaal, who was born in the West Bank but went into exile after the 1967 Six Day War. Meshaal “may be accompanied to Gaza by President Mahmoud Abbas in order to give a big boost to the reconciliation and restore the public’s confidence in the process,” he said. Yussef, who met Meshaal in Cairo last week, stressed the visit would require coordination “with a number of parties, especially our Egyptian brothers.” Reports said Meshaal will ask Amman for permission to reopen Hamas offices in Jordan, allowing the movement to evacuate its current headquarters-in-exile in Damascus, but Jordan’s Majali denied that would be discussed. “Reopening Hamas offices in Amman is not on the agenda. They did not ask for that anyway,” he said.

A post from August 2011 reported that a Hamas delegation including Meshaal met with both the Egyptian foreign minister as well as with the Supreme Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Another post discussed an interview with Hamas leader in exile Khaled Meshaal in which he said that the group is “looking to focus it energies on popular resistance” without giving up the “right to armed struggle against Israel.” In addition, U.K. media had reported that Hamas was considering whether to pull its exiled leadership out of Syria as the organisation reassesses its alliance with President Bashar al-Assad.

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