Hamas leaders meet in Egypt to elect new political office chief

Hamas leader in exile Khaled Meshaal (L) and Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniya (R) wave from the rooftop of a vehicle during a parade following Meshaal’s arrival in Rafah, southern Gaza, on Dec. 7, 2012. (AFP)

Leaders of Palestinian movement Hamas are meeting in Cairo on Monday to elect a new political office chief, with Prime Minister of the Palestinian government in Gaza Ismael Haniya expected to win.

Hamas Political Office Chief Khalid Meshal, who lives in exile, has joined the race despite previous reports that he would not run for reelection.

The Islamist movement holds elections every four years in which senior executives from the Gaza, the West Bank and the diaspora participate.

Egypt’s state news agency reported that Haniya has met with Egypt’s intelligence chief to discuss Palestinian reconciliation and the cease-fire between the militant group and Israel.

Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Mursi mediated a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel last year.

Relations between Egypt and Hamas are also high on the agenda. Hamas, a Palestinian offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood - the group from which Mursi hails - has come under attack by some in Egypt who accuse it of harboring militants that operate in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula

Last Update: Monday, 1 April 2013 KSA 08:02 - GMT 05:02

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