Saudi media is reporting that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is pressuring Hamas to persuade Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal to nominate himself for a fifth term. According to an Asharq Al-Awsat report:
28/01/2013 London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Hamas movement has postponed selecting a new Political Bureau chief in a clear bid to persuade incumbent, Khalid Mishal, to nominate himself for a fifth term. An Informed Palestinian sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that delaying the convening of the Hamas Shura Council is meant to give Arab, Palestinian, and Islamic parties’ more time to pressure Mishal to change his mind. The source which spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity said that the increased pressure on Mishal is due to the change in the positions of many leaders from the movement locally, especially after the recent Israeli war on Gaza and Mishal’s visit to the Strip. The source pointed out that elements in Hamas based abroad, which previously had reservations about Mishal are now convinced that he should continue to lead in the present circumstances. Meanwhile, those who still have reservations are no longer vocal due to Mishal current popularity. The main source pressure on Mishal today comes from the Egyptian side, specifically the Muslim Brotherhood; the source told Asharq Al-Awsat. The Muslim Brotherhood views Mishal as the individual that can lead the movement toward national reconciliation, which would end Palestinian division. The source said that several Arab and Islamic parties, such as Qatar and Turkey, are also exerting pressure on Mishal to go back on his decision to quit his post. The source went on to say that despite the sporadic quarrels that break out between Fatah and, the two movements have come to the realization that achieving national reconciliation is an urgent interest for both sides. The source stressed that as far as Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas is concerned, he realizes that the success of the moves he is planning on the international level depends on his ability to restore the unity of Palestinians in the West Bank. The source said that many European sides have become receptive to the Israeli argument that Abbas cannot represent the Palestinians because of the existence of two governments in Gaza and Ramallah.”
A post from last September reported that Khaled Meshaal had decided to step down from his position as head of the Hamas political leadership.
A post from December reported on the first visit ever to Gaza by Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal in honor of the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas. . A post from October reported on a speech Meshaal gave in Cairo in which said that “Nothing will restore the homeland but jihad, the rifle, and self-sacrifice” and that Zionists are the enemies of Allah and of Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, and Abraham – the enemies of the Prophets, of the Messengers, of values, and of morality.’ Read the rest here.
According to a BBC profile, Mr. Meshaal (aka Khaled Mishal) joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 1971:
“Mr Meshaal was born in 1956 in the village of Silwad, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Meshaal has been increasingly important since Sheikh Yassin died. His father, like many other Palestinians, travelled to the Gulf emirate of Kuwait in the 1960s for work. His family followed after the area fell under Israeli occupation in 1967.At school, Mr Meshaal became involved in Palestinian and Islamic activism. He joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 1971. Mr Meshaal continued to take interest political Islam while studying physics at Kuwait University and he founded a student organisation called the List of the Islamic Right. After graduating in 1978, he spent a number of years teaching physics in Kuwait. In 1987, Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Gaza founded the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, in response to a mass uprising against the Israeli occupation. Mr Meshaal became increasingly involved with Hamas over the next few years, leading what was known as the Kuwait contingent of Palestinians who lived and worked there.
Read the rest here.
A post from May 2009 provides further detail on Mr. Meshaal’s early activities in the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood.