Internal struggle behind reported new Hamas appointments

Hamas hardliner Yahya Sinwar was reported by Palestinian media Monday to have stepped up as successor to Ismail Hanieh, who is in line for promotion from Hamas’ Gaza Strip prime minister to chief of its political bureau, in place of Khaled Meshaal. Sinwar, a convicted terrorist, was released from Israeli jail in the swap for the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit. DEBKAfile: An argument in top Palestinian circles over the location of Haniyeh’s future headquarters is holding up these appointments.. Egypt and the group’s military arm want to keep him in Gaza City, but future “supreme leader” Haniyeh wants to take over Khaled Meshaal’s seat in Qatar, from which he would be free to move around Arab capitals.

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